Before I begin my long and involved story... A note to those attending the Bloggers' Crafting Weekend at Coalport, next weekend (25th-27th November).
I sent out an update e-mail, to all those who have confirmed they are attending. If you haven't seen this, please check your "Spam" folders in your e-mail. If it's not there, shout, as it contains important information and also some questions that I need you to answer asap (like what you want for dinner - I have to tell the hostel tomorrow!)
If you have already sent me an answer, that's fine - thank you. I have a couple of e-mails with outstanding questions, which I aim to answer by the end of the weekend. I was going to deal with this yesterday but.....
Wednesday 16th November - What an Afternoon!
12:15pm - stop working on the three books I am currently making for my Shop. It's time for lunch. Eat chicken and rice (left from last night's tea), then a banana. Bored with tv and raring to go, so back to work asap.
12:30pm - start work again, punching holes in a pile of pages for a wedding album
12:35pm - phone rings. Now, I don't usually answer the phone on "working days", as it's too distracting. If it is urgent, people leave a message. I check for messages from time to time, so I can deal with anything important. So, I didn't answer.
12:36pm - phone rings. I was up to my ears in paper punching, so didn't pick it up (but I did wonder).
12:37pm - phone rings again.... Couldn't get to it in time, but this time I thought I really should check...
12:38pm - pick up phone and listen to the three (!) messages:
Message 1) Mother's voice - "Oh dear"
Message 2) Mother again - "There's been a burst pipe and water's pouring through the kitchen ceiling. Bob's here (the warden) and he's turned off the water. I'm going to ring M. (her friend).
Message 3) Mother - "There's water pouring through the ceiling. The kitchen's flooded and I can't make any lunch. Can you help?
Who would refuse? I got in the car.
12:50pm - arrive at Mother's house. The front door is open - not the back door as is usual. The warden and a neighbour, plus M (the friend) are all there, with my mother.
12:51pm - the nice neighbour goes away
12:52pm - I get into the house - now there's room in the hallway! There is about 2" water over the kitchen floor, with more trickling through the ceiling. Everything is getting wet. I start to move stuff out of the kitchen, to minimise damage to anything made of paper or fabric - or electrical (the radio and phone).
12:55pm - the warden stands and watches me work. He waffles... clearly he doesn't really know what to do now. I continue to tidy up. Mother is upset and keeps wandering in and out - take her and get her settled in her chair. Her friend is still there and she offers to go home and make a little meal for my mother - she is so kind. Friend leaves.
1pm - the warden is now a bit more helpful. He explains that the bathroom is also flooded (!). He asks for the mop and bucket. I say I am going to get it in just a moment, when I have done what I'm currently doing - so he goes and asks my mum to get it (!). I get him the mop and he starts to help clean up the kitchen.
He says that he's contacted the office, who are sending the emergency plumber asap. At least that's been dealt with.
1:05 - 1:30pm - tidying up, aided (mostly!) by the warden. The plumber arrives and identifies the problem. The pipework supplying the bathroom wash basin has flexible hose attached - rubber core with a steel mesh outside. The cold water hose had burst - huge hole in it, big enough for a finger! He says it must have been faulty. He disconnects it and isolates the basin pipework, then turns the water back on. He has spoken to the electrician, who will be here as soon as he can, to check the electrics.
1:30 - 3pm - continue cleaning up and dealing with Mother, who is worn out and upset. To her credit, she behaves very well, though she still has the idea that she ought to help. The shock has upset her nerves, which has affected her mobility and she is having problems walking properly. Persuade her to rest in her chair, eat the nice eggs that her friend cooked her etc.
Deal with issues like the back-up batteries for her electric reclining chair, which had run out, getting the bathroom floor dry and putting the sodden mats, towels etc in the washing machine (for when the electrics are back on). Friend has hung the kitchen mat out to dry in the garden.
Most of the work is drying things - floors, worktops, even inside cupboards, where water has run in from the ceiling.
2:30pm - the electrician arrives. Poor man has broken his hand and has just been at the hospital to get it checked. He has to work, as he is self-employed. He's pretty tough though and gets on with disconnecting the kitchen and hallway lights, then checking the electrics and switching them back on. He wants to come back in a couple of days, when everything has dried out, to fit new lights. The electrics are back on and we can start to run the heating, switch on the washing machine, heat water in the kettle...
3pm - 4pm - Mother finally gets a hot drink. Finish tidying the kitchen, wash some dishes that were wet with dirty water (from the ceiling - dust I suppose, from between floorboards), take the rinsed washing out of the machine to dry at my house, settle Mother down and make sure she has a meal to heat up for her tea. Cover the sodden carpets with newspaper. Call the insurance company to tell them what has happened. They want us to report back tomorrow, to tell them how the carpets are, as those could be the big problem - if they stay very wet for a while, they will rot and smell. The building insurance is the responsibility of the Trust who own mum's house - we will check with them tomorrow.
4pm, go home, as DS is back from school. Mother is settled down and ok. She doesn't want me to go back this evening - tomorrow am will be fine.
Wednesday evening - usual jobs, make dinner, deal with laundry... finish the hole-punching for the book I was working on. Retire early to bed... zzzzz!
So, this morning I am going back to my mum's to deal with wet carpets and any other issues. I have to go soon, so it's time to stop typing!
Happy Thursday everyone!