My Hall Looks Like This Now
There’s good news and there’s bad news.
The good news is that two out of my three bathrooms are now back in working order. And as a
wise man once said, two outta three ain’t bad.
The bad news, however, is that my hall looks like this now:
Which actually IS quite bad, really.
(Oh, and when I said two out of three bathrooms were working? That pile of earth you can see at the bottom right of the photo is blocking the door to the downstairs bathroom, so while it IS technically working, it’s no longer accessible. So… still just the one bathroom, then, but now it’s a DIFFERENT One Bathroom from the One Bathroom that was previously the only working bathroom in the house. ONE BATHROOM TO RULE THEM ALL, people. Are you following this? Because I’m only barely following it myself, and they’re my bathrooms, so…)
(That’s obviously the very least of our worries, though: one bathroom is plenty, and at least I don’t have to go down two flights of stairs to get to it now. No, all things considered, the bathroom situation is pretty good right now.)
As you can probably gather from all of this, the problem with the blocked drain turned out to be worse than we originally thought. Like, £600 worse. Hands up anyone who’s even remotely surprised to hear that everything that COULD go wrong with this DID go wrong? I’m going to assume no one has their hands up at this point: it’s always the way with us, isn’t it? I mean, I should probably know by now that when someone gives me a quote for something, I should just go ahead and assume it will take twice as long, and be twice as expensive, and, to cut a long story short, that’s exactly what happened yesterday. So now we’re onto Day 2 of what I’ve affectionately dubbed “Hall Hell”, and there’s a giant pile of earth inside my house.
Of course, we didn’t actually KNOW we were going to have to pay double the amount we’d been quoted until AFTER the hall had reached roughly the state you see above. The insurance company, meanwhile, had paid out only the amount of the original quote, which meant Terry got to spend a fun 45 minutes on the phone, trying to wrangle the extra cash out of them, while the workman who’d transformed our hallway into the Cracks of Doom (Because yes, ONE MAN did this, guys. ONE MAN!) stood by going, “I don’t even know if I’ll have time to come back and finish it tomorrow, to be honest…”
It was a tense time for everyone (Well, for Terry, anyway. I was at my parents’ house at the time, so I remained in blissful ignorance of the unfolding drama), but finally the insurance agreed to cough up the cash, and the day was saved. Not so much the hall, though, obviously: the workman wasn’t joking when he said he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to come back today, so at the time of writing, we’re still waiting to find out if we’ll have a hall, or still just a mound of earth, by the end of the day. Hey, remember when I said I was a neat freak? What you can’t see from this photo is that the mess isn’t confined to the hall, and has spread through the entire house – even the floor of the bedroom (two floors up), was coated in a film of dust, so you can imagine how relaxed I feel right now.
The worse thing about all of this is that the man who dug up the hall told us that, in his expert opinion, the blockage could only really have been done maliciously – probably by a disgruntled employee of the company who built the house. Apparently the sheer volume of concrete, plus the type of concrete it is, precludes it having been flushed by accident, so it’s likely that whoever did it knew it would cause serious problems at some point down the line. We can’t know this for sure, obviously, but it does make sense: the company who built our house actually went bust while they were working on the development (Which means we don’t have any recourse to them for compensation…), so the leading theory at the moment is that the builders were told they were being laid off, and did it as a type of “revenge” – albeit it ended up being “revenge” against me and Terry, rather than against their employer. I’d like to think no one would be THAT awful, but the man who came out to fix it said he’s cleared a lot of blocked drains in his time, and basically you’d have to be really, REALLY stupid to flush that much concrete down a toilet. Thanks to my frequent run-ins with The Others, I know some people really ARE that stupid, but either way it’s kinda depressing to think that one person caused this, whether by stupidity or malice.
Anyway, we should know at some point today when they’re going to be able to come back and finish the job. Until then, I’m managing to resist the impulse to try and sweep the floor… but only just.