Rough Week

It’s been a long, tiring and stressful week. First of all, Obama won the US election for World CEO, which threw a distinct melancholy over my week. With the US in the throes of morbid, self-congratulatory ecstasy at having managed to elect a black man, the media have been something to shy away from this week.

When we returned from the US on Monday, we were one suitcase lighter (thanks, Northwest) and coming home to a house with no heating (it was just 11°C inside) and a very large, brown stain on our dining-room ceiling. It turns out that a leak in the attic was running alongside an air vent pipe down to the first floor ceiling, where the water then fell on our bathroom floor, before seeping through that, down to the ground floor. Once it all dries out, I’ll get that sorted. It looks like there will be insurance paperwork in my future.

Later in the week, the bricklayers, who have just completed their fifth week working on the outside of the house, unblocked a virtually inaccessible drainpipe on the roof and caused a torrent of water to descend into it.

This drainpipe partially runs through the house, which I find ridiculous, but there you have it. At about ceiling height in the cellar, the pipe is held in a lesser diameter sleeve and therein lies the problem. The sleeve was partially blocked, so when a huge amount of water needed to be processed, the water level in the sleeve rose until it overflowed.

A partially flooded cellar ensued, but since we managed to intervene quite quickly, thanks to the water alarm installed down there, the damage is therefore much less than it would otherwise have been.

There has been a steady stream of bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers and boiler maintenance people traipsing through the house this week.

A new leak was found in the attic, this one caused by an air vent pipe to the roof, which turned out to have no cap on it. Since the whole pipe was deemed superfluous, it was removed and its location on the roof tiled over.

Since the day we moved in, we’ve suffered from another leak, somewhere in our heating system. I regularly have to refill the system, particularly when we’ve been away and the pipes have been cold. This was why we came back to a freezing cold house on Monday.

Well, that leak now seems to have been found and it turns out to be the same leak that caused the stain on our dining-room ceiling. It must have been rapidly worsening. A new valve has to be ordered, which will take six working days. A deep tray is catching the drops in the meantime.

The windows in our new media room (a pretentious name, I know, but it’s inaccurate to just call it a TV room) were realigned this week, too. They had been allowing a draught through and, when the bricklayers had used a high-pressure water jet on the side of the house, water as well.

So, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom this week; and we got to see K3 on Friday, of course, which was lots of fun.

I’ll be a lot happier once the new valve has been fitted in the attic and the dining-room ceiling repainted, but we’ll probably have to leave that a few weeks before doing that, to allow everything to thoroughly dry out.

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