i've gotten myself into a bad loop - i want to tell you about what happened next after my last post but i keep putting it off and then i want to post something else and i don't because i haven't told you what happened yet. i realise it doesn't actually matter but for some reason i seem unreasonably attached to the linearity of it (not a word? tough). so - i will bite the bullet and unjam the logs (and mix every metaphor available to me in doing so).
after my nice relaxed post i had a nice relaxed evening
and went to bed early. at around 230 i woke up hearing rushing water. that's
some rain i thought groggily, then i FELT water, on my foot. suddenly, horribly awake, i leapt out of
bed, turned on the light, and immediately turned it back off again because
there was water streaming down through the light fixture. i ran upstairs -
there is a loo above the room i was sleeping in - no taps on or anything but i
could hear water. i ran down to the boiler and turned it off just in case and
by the time i got back to the corridor outside my room all the lights and power
in the house went out and there was a horrific WHHUUHHMP sound (which it turned
out was the ceiling of the room i had been sleeping in moments before crashing
to the floor).
clearly this was not good. i knew i had to get young f out of there so after
making sure he was ok (sleeping soundly) i ran next door to the neighbours who
we know as well - the kids all play together. they were immediately helpful and
amazing and made a bed for f on the sofa while i went back for him. i carried
him over the rubble and we went outside and
played "walking outside in our bare feet isn't this fun!" (oh it was
so so so not fun!)
once he was ok we tried to figure out what was going on. no one could reach
h&j as their lovely boutique hotel had no phone signal and no one answered
the landline. we worked out that a pipe under the upstairs bathtub had blown
but we couldn't find the stopcock (!!!!!!!!!) to turn the water off. finally
someone from southeast water was able to talk us through turning the water off
on the street, and the rushing water finally blessedly stopped. at one point
the neighbour and i were standing in the street staring helplessly at water literaly gushing out of
one of the landing windows. it was beyond awful.
another hour later and a walrus-moustachioed angel arrived in the unlikely form of a
southeast water emergency engineer. he found the stopcock, capped the broken
pipe, punctured holes in the ground floor ceiling (thus saving that from
collapse as well) and was so calm and good natured and matter of fact that i
could have married him on the spot. he turned the water back on for the street
somehow a signal made its way to j's phone and he rang - completely freaked
out by the 526 million or so missed calls and garbled text messages on both
their phones. they drove straight home, and to this day their only concern was
that f and i were all right. we're fine but - ah - your house - .......
your house is not fine.
and we are fine. f thought the whole thing was a fantastic adventure and
has shown no sign of trauma whatsoever. i am glad to know my adrenaline system
works (!!) and although i still jump at the sound of unexpected water, i have
no other ill effects. there was a slab of plasterboard across the pillow if the
bed i was sleeping in so heavy that it needed 2 contractors to remove it so it
was a lucky break to wake up when i did. apparently litres and litres of water
were coming through every second, and if no one had been home the whole house
would have flooded. insurance has covered the cost and although it has been a nightmare for h&j the work is pretty much done now.
luckily my plague of stopcock mishaps ended there and life has been much less eventful in recent months, although i have added “stopcock location” to my list of must have information
for any premises I may be responsible for at any point.
whew. all caught up. we can now return to our regular posting!