Yesterday we were connected to the new water mains that is supposed to change our lives. What are we going to do for entertainment without the 'Cheri(e), I flooded the neighbours" drama?, I did not think. The plumber announced, with a verbal flourish, that our water worries were over and left. Yeah. Right, I did not say.
This morning, there was a splash as I put one foot in the bathroom. Standing in a puddle is not a good start to the day, but my peripheral vision picked up worse: fingers of water slithering towards the door and the hall parquet intent on grasping it and twisting into unnatural shapes. I looked at the shiny new copper pipes. Dry. I looked at the wall where the plumber had drilled into the old upriser. Dry. An almost unoticeable glassy sliver of water went from the toilet in-pipe to the floor. Nothing to do with the plumbing work, then. I wanted to cry except it didn't seem a good moment to make a wet situation wetter.
The Frenchman tracked the plumber to the fifth floor, offered him a cup of coffee and asked if he'd look at the loo. He did and said it was a rotten washer. As he and the Frenchman drank coffee and talked football I rummaged in the kitchen cupboard and came up with a box of washers hidden under a bag of mousetraps. "Da, dah," I said with a flourish. "We have washers." The Frenchman and the plumber looked at me. "He's a plumber," said the Frenchman. "He's got his own washers."
I nearly said "I wouldn't be too sure", but there are times when you want running water and times when you don't.
Quid pro quo
5 weeks ago