I honestly can’t even believe I’m about to write this, but, remember that time Terry and I managed to flood our entire house just a couple of weeks before Max was born, and so, instead of the organised, relaxed run-up I’d planned to the birth, we ended up having to replace our entire bedroom floor, plus quite a few ceilings?
Also, remember that other time we flooded the bathroom in our last house, and it brought down part of the living room ceiling with it?
Or, who could forget the time the hall flooded, and it turned out to be due to a mysterious blockage, that was so bad, we ended up having to dig up the entire hallway AND bathroom, and almost lost the stairs, too?
Remember how, after each of these floods, I was all, “Well, at least we know THAT can’t happen again, because we have surely used up all of our flood-related bad luck by now!” ?
Guys, it happened again.
I swear to God, I’m not making this up. I mean, I know it probably seems like I am, because seriously, HOW MANY TIMES CAN TWO PEOPLE FLOOD THEIR HOUSE, FFS?
Er, four, apparently. Four times. And, in our defence, only one of those times was actually our fault. This time? This time it was this guy:
This is our washing machine, just in case it wasn’t obvious, and, last week, it broke down. This wasn’t even remotely unexpected: since Max arrived – and arrived with reflux, which lasted for the first 6 months of his life – that washing machine has been in near-constant use: so much so, in fact, that, a few weeks after Max was born, Terry actually called up to extend the warranty on it, in preparation for its inevitable future breakdown.
When that day finally arrived, we were honestly feeling pretty smug about our foresight in making sure it was still under warranty, so we called up Hotpoint, and, on Tuesday morning, a repair man duly arrived, and fixed the washing machine. Shortly after that, my parents arrived to take Max for the day, and Terry and I sprung into action, ready to start working our way through our respective To Do lists. The first item on mine was tackling the pile of laundry that had built up while the washing machine was out of commission, so I loaded up the machine, switched it on, and then headed upstairs to have a quick shower.
About thirty minutes later, I came back down to grab a coffee, and this was the sight waiting to greet me:
Yes, the floor tried to eat Terry, OMG!
Yeah, OK, no it didn’t. The floor isn’t the villain in this piece: that’s still very much the washing machine which had, almost as soon as I’d left it, decided to dramatically empty its contents onto our lovely floor. You know, the one that we JUST GOT last year? Here is actual video footage of me finding out it was all going to have to be ripped up, and maybe even replaced:
Luckily, by the time I arrived on the scene, Terry – who’d been alerted to the latest flood by the now-familiar sound of water running in a place it definitely shouldn’t be – had already invoked our Flooded House protocol, and all of the spare towels were on the floor, busily soaking up the last of the water, while he did his best to take up the worst affected planks. I, meanwhile, just stood around helplessly, wailing that it WASN’T FAIR, and SERIOUSLY, THO, HOW MANY TIMES CAN THIS HAPPEN?
And, again: FOUR TIMES IT CAN HAPPEN. And, indeed HAS happened. Maybe even more times, too, because, let’s face it: our flood-related bad luck has most definitely NOT run out yet, has it? I mean, I’ve now written so many blog posts about flooding my freaking house that I’ve literally just had to set up a special category JUST FOR THEM. Honestly, I know people say bloggers should have a niche, but I’m not sure, “flooding houses” is the kind of thing they mean by that? And yet, here we are: dangerously close to a point where, if my name ever comes up in conversation, people will be all, “Oh, yeah, Forever Amber: she’s the one who just blogs about flooding her house all the time, isn’t she?”
As I said, Terry took up the planks closest to the washing machine, in a bid to stop them being damaged by the water, and, also, to allow him to see how far the flood had spread.
“Maybe it won’t be as bad as we fear!” we thought optimistically, as he pulled up the last board.
Yeah, it was as bad as we’d feared. The water had gotten under the floor, and had spread almost to the kitchen door, and almost halfway up the room towards the living room. What’s more, if it DOES need to be taken up and replaced, it seems it’s not quite as simple as just replacing a few boards: no, quite a large section of the floor would have to come up, apparently. The floor that, lest we forget, is almost BRAND FREAKING NEW.
(Oh, and yeah, it can only really have been the fault of the washing machine repair guy, basically, because, when we called him in, it was because the machine wasn’t working AT ALL, not because it was flooding the kitchen. Our best guess is that, when he pulled it out to fix it, he didn’t reconnected it properly, hence the leak. We have yet to speak to the company about it, though – or, indeed, our insurance company – because we’ve been so busy trying to save the floor, but we will. Oh, we will.)
So. Part of the floor got taken up, and part of it got kind of propped up a bit, to let the air circulate under it, and dry it out. Naturally, these were the parts of the floor next to the cooker, fridge and microwave, because OF COURSE they were.
(It’s actually mucyh worse than it looks here, because more planks have come up since this was taken, and we can’t step on the propped-up boards without risking them breaking under us, so getting around the kitchen is a lot of fun, seriously.)
The rest of the kitchen, meanwhile, looks like a bombsite, and I guess the one saving grace here is that we ARE, at least, totally used to living like this, because it’s just eight months since the LAST flood, which ALSO rendered large parts of the house inaccessible. Win!
(Also, I don’t know what YOU would do if your kitchen flooded, but what WE did was to immediately invite round the health visitor to see Max (Scheduled 8-month check-up, which we didn’t have time to cancel. I bet she was super-impressed to find us raising him in a home without a working kitchen or decent floors), the boiler repair man (Scheduled boiler service, which we forgot to cancel, and which was particularly interesting, given that the boiler is ALSO in the part of the kitchen that’s now hard to access…), the hairdresser (Our friend Carol, who came to cut Max and Terry’s hair, and who is used to finding our house in this kind of state, having also been present for the Great Flood of 2017…), and my parents, who arrived to take Max to a house that doesn’t get flooded every few months. All of these people arrived more or less simultaneously, and that’s why Terry isn’t allowed to make appointments any more….)
So. At the time of writing, the floor is still up, and we’re just waiting to see how bad the damage is going to be. The best case scenario is that we get super-lucky, and, once the floor dries out, will be able to just put the planks back down again, like nothing ever happened. The worst case scenario, meanwhile, is that… well, let’s just hope the house insurance covers it, hmmm? (No, we haven’t checked yet. We’re too scared.)
And this, my friends, is why we can’t have nice things. Because, sooner or later, we’ll just flood them, won’t we? And, I mean, just last week I was talking to Terry about how the stair carpet is looking REALLY worn, but honestly, rather than replacing it – and then inevitably having to replace it AGAIN when it gets destroyed by the NEXT flood – I’m really tempted to just rip it up, and paint the stairs white instead. (I’m 100% serious about this, by the way. I mean, even if I didn’t work out, it wouldn’t really matter, because it’s just going to get flooded at some point, anyway, isn’t it? Also, something this would be awesome, and, if it was up to me, I’d be ripping up that carpet right now, not even joking…) Before we can start thinking about the stairs, though, we have to first of all think about the kitchen floor, so please, if you will, join me in praying for its safe recovery – and, in the meantime, feel free to follow me on Instagram, where I’ll be continuing to whine about this event on my Stories, while looking into changing my user name to @thegirlwiththeconstantlyfloodedhouse.
Oh, and P.S. – if you were one the many people who messaged me about my screwed-up blog yesterday, it was because I wrote this entire post, then somehow managed to delete it by mistake, then publish the now-blank page, before trashing it, recovering it from the trash, publishing it again as another blank page, and then repeatedly bashing my head against the desk, before sitting down to re-write 1,600 words about a flood.
Can I please just start this week over?
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