Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fun and games and exploding sewage

The roofing continues. It has been hampered alternately by non-appearance of deliverables such as chimneys and guttering and also by never-ending torrents of rain. I am over it and just want it to be over. Preferably all over the house. Currently we have 2/3 of a new roof, 1/3 old roof with some tarpaulins joining the gaps, no gutters (so the torrential rain goes straight down the windows and seeps in), a dysfunctional chimney (so we can't light a fire), and mess everywhere from the new skylights that have been 'cut in' to the ceilings.

Last week the builders removed and replaced the main sewage down pipe from our top bathroom (which is 4 floors up). While it was removed they must have dropped some rubble in the drain then cemented the pipes back in place. Three days later, we had a total blockage, both toilets filled up with brown water and the act of flushing the upstairs loo made the downstairs one fill up even more. We called the emergency plumber on Saturday afternoon while we kept our legs crossed and stopped drinking cups of tea in case there was going to be a 'no loo' situation overnight.

The plumber arrived a couple of hours later (I was starting to get worried). He cursed the fact they had cemented the pipe in instead of putting a proper rubber seal thingy on it, so he had to hacksaw the pipe near where it disappeared under the deck into the drain. As he started sawing, (I was stood behind proffering his cup of coffee), liquid spurted out and he muttered something about "a lot of pressure here". Then, he pushed the pipe off-centre and a fountain of sewage rushed down and up the outside, covering the man head to belly.

I was so shocked I didn't know what to do or say. I wanted to laugh but had to stifle it. We cleaned him up with a towel and offered him a shower but he bravely worked on to fix the blockage and re-seal the pipe. Afterwards when we were paying the bill (the best $300 I've ever spent on a plumber), I asked him if it was the first time this has happened to him. He said in a gruff voice 'No. I've tasted shit before!!"

Having a working toilet is a great relief. It makes you appreciate what life must have been like before civilisation as we know it. Also makes me realise how it all disappears at the press of a button and how shocking it is to see it all again several days later smothered across a strangers face!

It is now a year since I started this blog - and my posting has got less frequent. I still enjoy doing it so will attempt to keep it up for another year. I am over the daily reporting of details of what I ate and who I spoke to - so I will limit it to more newsworthy subjects. Hence, if a few weeks go by with no posts it either means I've dropped dead or am having a suitably boring life :-)

To keep my mind off winter, work, and the housing situation I've been alternately playing Sims Castaway on the Wii (it's a shipwreck game where you have to keep your Sims alive and try to get them rescued), and harvesting crops on my virtual farm at FarmTown. It's a sad life I know!

Things I am looking forward to:

  1. The roofing being finished
  2. The International Film Festival starting soon
  3. A long weekend in Nelson in early August
  4. Summer!
p.s. This has been a Dylan-free post but I will be back on form soon.


Nik said...

Hah, that poor plumber, that is horribly hilarious.

We just replaced the guttering (or 'spouting' which just sounds funny to me) on our house a few weeks back, not as extensive as your project but very nice, no more waterfalls at the doorway every time it rains. Which is every day lately...

mariSh said...

My commiserations... But think how nice it's going be when you will be builders-free... blissssssssss