Tuesday, May 22, 2007

That's not a hole...

... this is a hole.

Yes, the old man finally used his Fein Multi-wotsit, a mere six months after getting it, and the words "knife", "hot" and "butter" were appropriate. Lovely bit of kit. Up until the point we had to remove the studding put in the frame the hole in the first place. Ring shank nails and 3x2s?! Talk about over built... Anyway a bit of cunning and a lot of brute force sorted it out and cue Vic. He sets to with cold chisel and hammer to reveal the pipe. I send out word to any gods in the vicinity who could see their way clear to making sure he doesn't go through the pipe. Guess what?

He didn't.

Yeah, I was kinda surprised too. On the other hand he said "ah, that looks a bit big". What?! Turns out we have 3/4" pipe as opposed to the more usual 1/2". He'll have to see if he can locate somewhere with the right size stop cock. No problem, he's got to nip off to see if Plumbase have the right part for the flue now anyway. Not that there's a hurry because, wait for it, he can't get hold of Trevor the electrician. That'd be Trevor the electrician who's got so far with the wiring ready to finish up when the boiler was fitted last week. The Trevor who's due to go on a cycling holiday in, possibly, the Pyrenees (seems a hilly place to cycle round, but that's what I'm told) for two weeks - possibly starting this week...

There are no words to describe this, so I won't even try.

But wait, we have an ace up our sleves. For once the Cornish Mafia comes through to our benefit (thus demonstrating we've been living here too long IMO) and as it happens we know Trevor's mum. Trevor's mum is called, health enquired after and so forth and finally - do you know where Trevor is? Hallelujah! Good news. He's not on holiday but rather his 'phone line is on the blink and would we like his mobile number? (cell phone, Murricans) Would we! Not sure how Trevor will feel about this freely giving of it though - neither we nor Vic knew he had one and now we do know, well... Mwahahahahaha and other expressions of a "we've got you now, sunshine" variety, just about covers it.

So even while Trevor's mum is on one line Vic gets Trevor on his mobile and it starts to go downhill again. Vic is due to do a job for a woman who's coming down from Slough especially to open up the property for him tomorrow, on Thursday a builder's got him booked to do a bathroom, Friday is a shower fitting for a fellow who put his cold chisel through the pipe while preparing it last week and can't be left without a functioning bathroom for another weekend (I read a sub-text of imminent divorce otherwise), then it's the Bank Holiday weekend and he's taking it off until next Wednesday. Trevor's off on his cycling holiday by then.

I swear, I'm not making this up.

To top this off the wiring that Trevor's already done was based on assumption A about what was needed, and it turns out we need assumption B and he may need another wire. The hole isn't large enough to take anymore wire. That'd require an enlargement of a hole right by those three pipes previously mentioned on this blog (aka "When Plumbers Attack") and the new pipes lately put in by Vic and Ben. Trev isn't sure on the 'phone whether he can manage with the wires he already has, he'll have to see.

We'll just sacrifice a few goats and build a stone circle in the meantime - in the hopes of attracting some good fortune.

Well Vic can see we're practically climbing the walls at the thought this could go into June so he makes to think most furiously. Right, can Trevor do tomorrow? We gather Trev says "Hmm". "Hmm in a good way?" asks Vic. Evidentally yes, so Vic will get Ben to do the lady from Slough and meanwhile he and Trev'll play with our boiler. "We should get it done" says he, "no problem. And Ben'll be finished by two-ish and can do the stop cock." Should? Should. I'm afraid I asked if he was a) an eternal optimist, or b) a slow learner. I know, I shouldn't have, but honestly this is getting well beyond a joke now.

So Vic potters off to see about the stop cock, the correct flue part and whatever else it is he decides to do today and I disinter the computer from its dust sheet for the remainder of the day. As I write we haven't heard that there's any problems, but the 'phone just went...


  1. Alf, this saga is on a par with Fawlty Towers and Dad's Army. If all else fails, you could always try writing a new TV sit-com.

    Hope things start getting better soon.


    Paul Chapman

  2. Alf, it's late Thursday now where you are. I hope you can see the far side of this thing from here.

    What exactly does this boiler do? Here in the colonies, we have what we call a 'water heater', or sometimes (redundantly) 'hot water heater', which has a natural gas feed and burner under it. It supplies hot water to kitchen and bath. Home heating will generally be natural gas-fired, or occasionally electric. So, does this boiler provide hot water for kitchen and bath?

    If your help has now departed, leaving the job undone, is there a backup team somewhere in the vicinity?



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