Thursday, 17 November 2011

What an Afternoon!

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!


  1. Oh Lizzie I do hope everything is ok with your mum it sounds as if this upset her. Sending you lots of positive thoughts and well wishes xxx

  2. Yikes! My goodness what an ordeal for your Mum - I hope there is a speedy clean up and that your Mum feels okay, that sort of thing is never nice .. hopefully the relevant authorities put through the claim quickly and efficiently.

  3. Oh, Lizzie - that doesn't sound good! Hope all is better today and that the carpets dry out. More importantly, I hope your Mum is feeling happier today.

    Re the weekend: I received your email and replied to it; I also replied to your comment asking if I'd received the email. I'm a bit concerned that our messages aren't getting through to each other! If you haven't received mine, please leave a comment to let me know and I'll try to give you a call when I can xx

  4. Wow, that is some afternoon! I hope it all works out ok, well handled! You and your mum definitely deserve some rest and relaxation after all that, I hope you get it.
    (also apologies, I have finally figured out that I should have e-mailed you back in response to your lovely comments on my blog a while ago, not commented on them on my own blog! Doh! I was not being rude, just silly and new at this world of inter-connected fun! Will do better.)

  5. Hope you found your mum OK this morning Lizzie- and the house dried out a bit!
    Alison xx

  6. hoping you have had a better day Lizzie and that things have improved for your poor mum xxx

  7. What an awful afternoon Lizzie. Hope everything is ok now and how lucky that you live so close.

  8. Oh my gosh, Lizzie. What a day! You must have been exhausted when you got home. I hope your Mom is okay, and that the rugs dried out. Mold is the big problem (we had our basement flood once - what a nightmare!). Hang in there!! xox

  9. Nightmare! I hope she is feeling a bit more settled today. Not everyone understands that upset can affect mobility, do they? My Mum has exactly the same problem. If anything upsets her, her hands just curl up - which means of course that she has trouble lifting the phone to call for help.

    And I hope the damage isn't too bad and nothing precious was lost.

  10. Yikes! Good job you were there to help Lizzie - hope everything is sorted by now!

  11. Oh my goodness, what a trauma for you both .. Is your Mum OK today? And you? Very stressful and bewildering when there's so much needs doing all at once. You clearly did a great job. ;)

  12. Oh dear. Lucky someone was in control

  13. Oh dear, hope your Mum is now OK and the carpets dried out.

  14. Lizzie

    Bit concerned as I like Mel I did reply to your orginal message about the blog weekend on the 13th November. I have re- replyed and hope you have received that e-mail. If not can you leave another comment on my blog

    Lesley x

  15. Oh no Lizzie, very sorry to hear about all this fuss, your poor Mum. i do hope you have managed to get it all sorted out. We are always having floods and its so inconvenient and it is upsetting. ((hugs)) x


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