Monday morning – morning prayer in church with a good crowd.  These regulars like to have coffee and a scone after and kindly invite me so over the road we went.  (Cafe freezing, scones too well-done and mine was very small so I don’t think we’ll be going back there again!)  Back to church at 11am to meet someone who wanted to interview me about the history of the church and take a film of it too.  I waited. And waited. No show.

Monday afternoon – waiting for a plumber to come and fix the rectory wash-hand basin plughole.  (We have a contract with Scottish Gas which covers plumbing apparently.)  Dyno-Rod eventually came and informed me it was broken. Duh!  And that the contract does not cover pop-up waste plugs.

Tuesday morning – morning prayer, a little photocopying in church, and some advice from +A.  Popped home before visiting, answered the phone only to find out that the plumber who was meant to be coming out this afternoon was on his way. Jolly good. See the plumber and then go visiting.  After an hour the plumber arrives and if I want the thing fixed he might be able to do it this afternoon – once he’s gone and bought this special fitting.  Could take a few hours. Bang goes Tuesday afternoon.

Of course the Vestry would rather I went through this process three times getting three quotes.

And they wonder why I didn’t get around to visiting.


Plumbing the depths

Do you want to hear a bit more about the continuing plumbing saga from the Rectory? Well, whether you do or not, I need to offload some of this week’s traumatic events.

Firstly, I should say that the aga sage is going well. Keith, my boiler fitter, is a joy to behold. Fresh faced, friendly and helpful.

I can’t say the same for Scottish Gas and their contract staff. You may remember that we had the flood to end all floods after the flash floods. The Water Board turned up a day later than stated to clean up and find the problem and said there was nothing they could do. (The cleaning up had been done by me at this point.)

I phoned Scottish Gas because we have a contract for plumbing problems and we had a plumbing problem, clearly. A jolly man from DynoRod came and Keith (boiler man) showed him where the problem was underneath the house – an old pipe all covered in an old mend and black gunk leaking out – clearly the site of the blockage. So Mr DynoRod blasted all the years’ worth of washing machine detritus etc and cleared it. This left some rather pungent liquid running down my garden path which I commented upon. “You are going to clean that up, right?” “Oh yes,” said Mr DynoRod, “can I borrow this hose?” (The hose being Keith the boiler man’s.)

Are you keeping up?

However, cleaning the mess consisted of giving a wee rinse to where it exited the house, getting in his van and scarpering. The smell of the stuff running down the path was vile and we found black oily viceral liquid down in our little patio area. Bless Keith, for as he was leaving for the day he offered to sweep it all away with some bleach. An hour and a half later he gave up and said he’d bring his Karcher the next day. (That’s a power hose thing, for those who don’t know.)

Yesterday Son #2 began Karchering and the garden is finally looking lovely and clean.

Oh nearly forgot the washing machine story… with 8 large sodden bath towels lying around the kitchen floor, I popped a couple in to start the clear up and blew the washing machine up. Back on the phone to Scottish Gas who said they couldn’t get someone out until Friday.

Now, back to lovely Keith who was working under the house doing gas things when he noticed that there was a leak whenever water was poured down the sink. Yes, you guessed it. With the blast of water that old join in the pipe had given way. (I had asked Mr DynoRod if he’d repaired it but he said that wasn’t in his job description. Blast but don’t mend, it would appear. However he said if it happened again to phone and tell them and they’d put new pipe in.) So back on the phone to Scottish Gas who told me that might not be covered in the contract but they’d get someone to phone me yesterday.

Had to wait in all day for the phone call which didn’t happen. Keith went home at 5.30pm and at 6.30pm another DynoRod van arrived. Mr DynoRod 2 was a cheery soul who mumbled my name and asked if that was how you pronounced it. I told him it was Innes but he clearly wasn’t listening for he continued to call me Mrs R…n…f…mumble. I told him the saga and he asked if he could use my loo first cos he’d been bursting for hours. Charming. He emerged some time later muttering about washing his hands. (I later found the window open and a bottle of Toilet Duck missing so draw your own conclusions on this one!)

Mr DynoRod 2 eventually found the leak and happily bound it up with tape. No, it was not replaced but he says its fine. I’m too soft. “Just as well you noticed it,” says he, “because a sink full of water could have caused huge problems down there.” Now, what if the lovely Keith hadn’t been working down there and found the leak? As he left, he gave me the Scottish Gas Customer Checklist to prove he’d been there and done his job and that’s when I noticed my name is Mrs Riverniff. Riverniff! When did Ruth Innes become Mrs Riverniff?

It is lashing rain this morning and so far so good. The lovely Keith is working indoors just now because soldering isn’t good in the rain. Don’t suppose we’ll get much Karchering done today. But I see the drain in the driveway is not taking away the water. Who should I phone now?

Oh by the way, the Water Board did turn up a day late and said they thought the plumbing in the house was crap, didn’t think it was their problem, but they’d send out someone to look at the drain anyway. I can’t wait.