Thursday, 2 February 2012

Domestic stuff can't be ignored forever!

Domestic stuff can't be ignored forever, it has a habit of creeping up and taking you unawares.
 Over the last few weeks I have been hijacked from some unexpected sources. It all started off tamely when the mixer cold water tap  in the kitchen stopped working... not an international incident, but something that needed to get sorted. A bit like the gutter at the back of the house. Every time it rained there was a major overflow, which directed itself in exactly the spot on the decking where I sit to have breakfast. (We are talking about the warmer weather here.) This is a job that I am not capable of doing myself, so I got a man to come. He drilled out the cast iron roans and put a lot of  sealant on the joints with the result that the next time it rained there was the usual downpour of water, overflowing from the roan onto my favouite spot. Guess what... the several calls and messages I left him failed to get a reply. Things started to get serious about mid January. As I stood sleepy eyed in front of the pan, I noticed water squishing up between the laminate flooring, which was looking very sorry for itself and bulging in all the wrong places. A bit of rudimentary investigation revealed that water, which should have been filling the toilet was instead trickling down the pipe onto the floor. I had to do something, so I rang my long time help in these situations... Jake. The next day Jake, who is a plumber took out the faulty  pipes and valves and replaced them with brand spanking new ones. Not only that, he sawed through and took up the useless laminate flooring, leaving me to replace them with something less liable to harbour water and rotting wood underneath them.  By one of those quirks of fate, Jake had been at my house two days earlier to fix the cold water tap. He replaced it with a spare he had thrown in his bucket and fortunately managed to retrieve before the bucket men got it. More in hope than faith I asked him if he knew any roofers and then explained to him the story of the roans.
"I can do that," he said and then correctly diagnosed the problem... last year's snow had bent the brackets and created a big dip which caused the rain to run out. Within a few days, the roans were taken off and the stays were bent back into the right position. Prior to Jake arriving on the scene, I was warned that this job would take a lot of expensive scaffolding, but all he needed was a ladder. Result... the gutters don't leak over me any more.
Yesterday, I went along to B & Q to claim my 10% discount for being an old git. My aim was to buy the timber necessary to create my winter job in the garden... a marigold type arch, the sort that doesn't have any curves in it and looks as if it could have come from Japan. I spent the best part of an hour searching through the various timber piles in the freezing cold and had to compromise on the size of the timber, because the stocks were limited. I took the thirteen pieces of timber and the four spikes for holding the whole thing together in the ground to the check out and duly had each piece of wood put through the scanner and then... calamity. The spikes held timber of 50 x 4.50, not 50 x 50 which is what I had. A quick return to the freezing out door area confirmed my fears. There were several different sizes and none of them were what I wanted. So B & Q still have their timber and good luck to them.
Still, I did manage to get a bit of cushion floor carpet for the bathroom. This morning, by some miracle I cut it into what approximates the shape of the bathroom, with those difficult curves around the loo a big challenge. After that, I went to Innerwick and  helped out with the construction of  a wooden shed, mostly by holding things up and making coffee. So now I am in the swing of domestic stuff. The arch thingy may be solved by my visit to Strawberry corner on the way home from B & Q. They have some sturdy 3 x 3" timber and ready mix cement.
While all this was going on, my car sneaked up on me with a whole host of problems... but that's another story!

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