Yesterday afternoon the lady who lives downstairs knocked on our door to say water was leaking through her kitchen ceiling. Our kitchen is above her kitchen but there was no sign of any leak in our kitchen at all. I turned off all the water and the central heating as no-one was able to come until today to fix it but the leak continued unabated.
We were not able to flush the toilets overnight or in the morning and when the plumber finally turned up late this morning I was in the middle of doing of a poo and unable to flush it away. The plumber spent an hour or so looking very confused about where the water was coming from and eventually decided it was the central heating and so called out a heating engineer instead. Several hours and an enormous hole in the ceiling of the downstairs flat later he found the leak and fixed it. It was just a join in the waste water pipe from our kitchen sink that was a bit loose. We had turned our water off for no reason.
Before leaving the engineer told me there was a bit of plaster in the kitchen of the flat downstairs. The lady had left her key with me so I could let in the plumber and so I went down to investigate. Oh my goodness! There was plaster strewn from one side of her kitchen to the other. I don’t know how he managed to make such a terrible mess. It was as though he had put a whole heap of gib and plaster into a blender without a lid and turned it on. I frantically cleaned it all up before she got home from work. It would be bad enough coming home to a whopping great hole in the ceiling let alone plaster everywhere. Fortunately she has been very understanding and we are going to have to replace her ceiling now so there will be more workmen down there. This is one way to get to know the neighbours!
While all this was going on I received an email from BT saying they were sorry to see I had cancelled my account and that I would be charged for cancelling the contract early. I have not cancelled my account and nor do I want to cancel it. I moved the contract from one house to the other and BT moved it successfully two days ago. We’ve been using the same phone number and our broadband internet at the new house for two days. So why they think I suddenly wish to cancel is beyond me.
I rang then immediately and had to explain at least a dozen times to two different people that I never cancelled my account and I don’t want to cancel it. Ben was listening with great amusement. Numerous times I asked them to sort it out and to ring me back when it was fixed so that I could get back to work but they insisted on keeping me on hold. I just wanted them to a) not cancel my account and b) not charge me for cancelling the account when I didn’t cancel it in the first place. After what seemed like an eternity on the phone to them they say it has been fixed and they’ll ring me in the morning to confirm. That’s assuming they don’t cancel the account anyway and leave me without a phone line. I am tentatively hopeful we’ll still have phone and internet tomorrow.
What will be next? I guess we were very unlucky with the leak and these things just happen. Every house we’ve lived in has had water leaks at some point. Perhaps it’s just a consequence of having so many pipes in modern homes. I am very grateful for that though. I wouldn’t want to go back to ferrying buckets of water from the local well. Leaks from time to time are a small price to pay for this convenience.