Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Not laughing like drains

It had to happen. Things had been going too smoothly for my liking. I was waiting for the moment something would go tits up with baited breath.

Disaster struck on Sunday at 7pm as I lay, hungover, on the sofa contemplating what to have for dinner and watching Man Vs Food.

Up until that time, I had rather enjoyed an enforced no-flat-talk weekend as I'd been at a friend's hen in deepest Gloucestershire, tucked away from phone signal and the outside world. I think that Mr Flatzilla was equally delighted as for once we weren't spending all of our free time discussing the floor and what taps to buy for the bathroom.

Anyway, on with the story. If our builders had really thought things through, they probably wouldn't have removed the down pipe that drains our roof terrace before a weekend of torrential rain. But of course, being builders, they did.

Cue a not-too-pleased call from our freeholder informing us that water is gushing down the outer wall of our building then telling us that the pipe leading down from our lower terrace was blocked, leading to more water flying everywhere and that we were very possibly about to flood his basement flat via the lower drains. Good times.

Of course, appetites went flying out the window and colour drained from our faces at the prospect of damp, damaged walls and all manner of costs involved in repairs  plus angry people.

We arrived on Monday morning to find a soaked external wall, a blocked drain and a blocked pipe leading from our lower terrace. The builders flew into action, hopping garden walls to get to the basement flat's drains (thank god no one called the police) and armed with 20 metres of rods, managed to get everything pushed through. After a bit of a bollocking from both myself and Mr F, the down pipe was replaced, although in the end it turned out to be a saving grace that it wasn't plumbed in as the cascading water would've apparently been 10 times worse had the water from the roof terrace been attempting to drain down too.

The knackered guttering where pigeons enjoy pooing has for now been shored up and should hopefully withstand the rest of the freakishly wet weather for a while until the freeholders replace everything in the summer. Considering the guttering has been held together with bulldog clips for some time (I shit you not, dear reader), this cannot come a moment too soon.

We also discovered in this horrible, horrible process that we have a pigeon hotel located under the lower terrace. We had wondered for some time quite why pigeons were so enamored with our lower terrace and now we know why - they have built a roost underneath the flooring and it appears to be busier than the Heathrow Marriott. Not looking forward to a visit from pest control.

God, I miss blogging about shoes sometimes.

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