Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Biblical Floods

I’m sitting in a meeting with our CEO and my phone, on mute, shows my home number ringing in. This is a little unusual, as it’s the end of the day, but I don’t think much of it. Thing is, it shows again a few minutes later. Now our Nanny is a responsible sort, this wouldn’t happen unless it was serious. The quandary, do I dodge out of the meeting to take the call, and likely deal with something serious that could wait, or sit?

The meeting is almost done, so I sit. At least I thought it was almost done until one of my fine colleagues thinks this is a fine time to bring up a completely trivial point. I feel like a kid at school needing to go to the loo. Disaster scenarios begin to run rampant through my mind. Thankfully the meeting wraps up and I dodge out into the executive lobby (and how funny is that, a separate executive lobby (not that I see it other than in meetings, I live down amongst the people who do things)) and make the call.

Poor SN is beside herself, almost unable to speak. I feel my whole body tense up as I imagine the worst, and try to talk her through it. When I work out what happened I feel both relief and a completely different sort of tension. We’d recently (just finished last Friday) redone the loo beside the guest room up in the attic. Through her rushed words I understand that one of the new pipes had burst and we now had a veritable waterfall running down our stairs.

The poor girl is completely panicked, but over the next ten minutes I’m able to talk her through finding the shut off valve so at least we stop more water pouring into the house. That under control I roll into disaster mode and after a brief call to LL (who was apoplectic, she had been dealing with this builder and I would not have wanted to be him), get on to our insurance to arrange an emergency plumber.

These things are never easy, but I get it sorted, then wrap up at work and start the long slog home. Its 9:30 by the time I get there. No lights of course, as we now need to keep the electrics off for at least 24 hours until an electrician can come by and certify us OK. LL and SN have done most of the clean up, but the house is still a mess. Most of the water had been towelled up, but both rugs and furniture are sopping, and there’s some worrisome patches of ceiling that may yet come down. Most distressingly (for a techno geek like me) my stereo equipment had its own small waterfall through it before the electrics got cut off.

After some depressed cuddles with LL, I manage to find an old travel alarm clock so at least we don’t oversleep, and off we go to bed. This morning was a sponge bath (we have an electric power shower), and no hot tea before I leave. I manage to find our emergency calor gas camping stove so SN can feed the kids, and off I go. Now begins the really fun bit, dealing with the insurance company and our builder to determine who pays…

We are somewhat cursed with water in this house. This is our fourth plumbing related flood (though by far the worst), and we’ve spent years and far to much money tracking down various leaks in the roofing. What next, that’s what I want to know, what next?


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