So, on Sunday evening, we broke the house.

This is, of course, the latest chapter in the never-ending-story that is our attempt to redecorate the bathroom. Sunday night’s installment started like this:

Terry: You know, I don’t think I’m going to get a plumber in to move that radiator. I think I’m just going to do it myself.

Amber (wearing her rarely spotted “Voice of Reason” cap): I don’t think that’s such a great idea. Isn’t moving radiators really complicated?

Terry: Nah, I’ve watched a few videos on how to do it on You Tube. It’ll be fine.

And so it was that, a few short hours later, as I lay on the bed reading (and polishing off the rest of the Christmas chocolate,) I heard a shout go up from the bathroom:


Now, most people, upon hearing such a cry, would instantly spring into action. Not me. I took a moment to reflect on what was happening. Terry clearly hadn’t injured himself, because my dad’s not a doctor. He is, however, a professional “dad” (who has moved a few radiators in his time), and his advice was required to help Terry tackle the small but mighty FLOOD that was now happening in our bathroom. Or what used to be our bathroom Before The Flood Came.

I called my dad and asked his advice. “Build an ark and send the animals in two by two,” he said. Nah, I’m just kidding. What he actually said was:

“Stick your finger in the hole and keep it there until I get there.”

Which was less exciting, but more practical, you know? At this point, before Terry reads this, I should probably explain that the hole in the pipe was NOT TERRY’S FAULT. No, the pipe had a BROKEN BIT inside, and even if we had asked a plumber to do the job, the outcome would have been the same. Only probably without the phone call to my dad, I would imagine.

So, Terry stuck his finger in the hole, while I gathered every last towel in the house, and threw them into the bathroom, in a feeble attempt to soak up some of the water. Once there, they joined both our bathrobes, plus the towel we use to dry Rubin’s feet when he goes out for a pee. I don’t know how that got in there.

downtime(This is not my bathroom. This is just a stock image I’ve added in a bid to make this story seem a little less grim. Let’s all pretend that’s working out, shall we?)

The water, by this point, had managed to escape the bathroom, and was making its way along the hall, headed for the bedroom. I started to try and add more towels to the mix, in an attempt to halt its progress, but as I did so, I became aware of a strange noise coming from downstairs, and realised that someone had left the shower on in the living room. This struck me as strange because, like most people, WE DON’T HAVE A SHOWER IN THE LIVING ROOM. Or we didn’t, until approximately 9pm on Sunday evening, at which point, the escaping water thought, “Ah, screw it, I’ll just get out through the light fixture,” and started pouring out of the ceiling light.

Well, I ran downstairs and started placing basins on the floor, and also a mixing bowl (Which, actually, I was wondering when we’d get some use out of that. Every cloud.). The water was coming thick and fast, and I had already emptied the basin twice before another, very pressing problem came to my attention. You see, I’d drunk a lot of coffee that day. And water. And hadn’t had access to the bathroom for a while. And had now been listening to the sound of running water for twenty minutes. Folks, I needed to go, and I needed to go BAD. There was a problem, though: the bathroom was filled with two inches of water, plus a Terry with his finger in a hole.

“Just go in the garden,” said Terry, through gritted teeth.

“No!” I told him, horrified by this. I mean, it was COLD on Sunday night!

“Why not?”

“Because. I. Don’t. Pee. Outside.” I said, totally forgetting for the moment, that actually? Sometimes I do.

There was only one option. That option was for Terry and I to swap places, and for me to take possession of the bathroom and its leaky pipe while Terry manned the mixing bowls downstairs. So we swapped places, amid a shower of water that would have made us look a bit like we were in some kind of body mist commercial or something, were it not for the fact that actually, I was about to try and pee in a flooded bathroom.

I will draw a veil over the next few,awkward minutes of my life, and leave it to you to imagine what it might be like trying to use the bathroom whilst at all times keeping your finger stuck inside a leaky pipe, at ground level. And now I’m just going to take a moment to reflect on this new low I have reached, in both my personal life and in my blogging career…

* * *

Not long after this, my parents arrived to, um, relieve us. (Boom Boom!) and my dad availed himself of the opportunity to stick HIS finger in the radiator, while Terry assisted him and my mum and I spread more towels upon the floors and walked around with anxious expressions, repeating the phrase, “Do you think we’ll need a plumber? Should we call a plumber?” at regular intervals.

Luckily, we did not need a plumber. Between them, my dad and Terry somehow managed to plug the leak, and my parents headed back home, taking with them three carrier bags filled with soaking wet towels to remember us by. Thanks, parents! I’m assured that the bathroom will be lovely when it’s finished. The rest of the house, though? Not so much, really. The wood floor on the hall and in the living room took a bit of a beating, mess somehow spread throughout the entire house, and, as I write this, the final load of towels is in the washing machine.

Our trials were not over yet, though, for that night, as I lay dead to the world, dreaming confused dreams involving towels and plumbers, Terry became aware of the sound of that living room shower starting up at full blast again. Yes! The water left in the ceiling had finally found an escape route, and was pouring out of it, forcing Terry to go downstairs and prod a hole in the ceiling, before the whole lot fell down. This was what we woke up to the next morning (It actually looks worse in real life):


So that sucks.

Also, at the height of the Flood, as we anxiously waited for my dad to appear and make it all better, I appeared at the bathroom door with the camera. “Sorry, Terry,” I said, “But I’m totally blogging this…”


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  • Oh god, that was so funny, but I can imagine the horror! Why is it always you, Amber??

    Hope it's fixed asap! xx

    January 15, 2008
  • That was the best story I've heard in a long time. And it was made even better by you taking a picture for the blog. Now that's a true blogger!

    January 15, 2008
  • Hazel


    I love the expression on Terry's face 🙂

    January 15, 2008
  • That made me weewee laughing (not while doing an odd squat thankfully).

    A truly triumphant post, which I'm sure doesn't ease the pain of a generally waterlogged house, but still…

    Oh well, this is the first time I've seen Terry and your hubbie is quite a dish (did I just say dish?! Lord save us)


    January 15, 2008
  • Ohhhhh no! I must admit to a few giggles… but seeing my luck with breaking appliances, it'll come back to bite me.

    January 15, 2008
  • I cannot help but laugh hysterically at this story. I don’t mean to laugh at your misfortune, but I can just picture it and it makes it funnier!



    January 16, 2008
  • Ohhhhhh noes. Hope you get that fixes soon. Thank you for blogging about it and the picture with poor Terry kneeling in the whole mess.

    January 16, 2008
  • I'm picturing you sitting on the toilet trying to stop the leaking. Only, instead of you, it's me. I need sleep. A LOT of sleep.

    January 16, 2008
  • Kristen


    Oh, my… laughed my you-know-what off at your story, all the time getting odd looks from my two Bichons. Can just imagine Rubinman's reaction to the livingroom shower! Wishing a speedy recovery for you, Terry, Rubinman and the house…

    January 17, 2008
  • Stephen






    January 17, 2008
  • The look on Terry's face is the crowning glory of that post!

    I think stuff like this happens to all of us at some point in our lives. Apart from for me, it normally IS my husband's fault, so consider yourself lucky there!! Good luck with the fix up x

    January 17, 2008