I was dreaming of a long-ago holiday in beautiful Canada, staying with Mr B’s cousins, Bob and Jacky. Bob drove us all over Ontario while Jacky and I, sharing the back seat of their station wagon, consulted the map
at regular intervals so that I could track where we were going and played endless games of cribbage to while away the long journeys.
An especially memorable moment
was standing at the very edge of Niagara Falls, watching the waters cascading ferociously into the steaming depths below. In my dream, I kid you not, I could hear the rushing water…
Except that when I woke up, I could still hear it, from Somewhere Downstairs. Tottering, still half asleep, to the top of the stairs I could see my very own waterfall, torrenting down from the ceiling and into the flooded hall below.
It wasn’t nearly as picturesque as the Niagara Falls and far more worrying.
A quick inspection of the bathroom followed, which involved tiptoeing across
the sopping wet landing and into - a paddling pool. Except that paddling pools are supposed to be fun, don’t you know? Meanwhile Mr B was calling me from downstairs demanding to know (i) what was going on and (ii) what I was doing about it. The answer
to both questions being - I don’t know! Or words to that effect.
I had sufficient wits about me to realise that I needed to turn the water off. Unfortunately
my wits didn’t extend to knowing exactly how to do that. A panicky call to our poor put-upon neighbour helped me to identify the right tap and which way to turn it - obeying the useful mantra “Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty” - but my weak wrists
(as opposed to my equally weak wits) couldn’t shift the tap in either direction. Meanwhile my own personal waterfall kept right on cascading. I emptied the airing cupboard of towels, thanking my lucky stars that I have more beach towels than anybody
else I know.
I telephoned my friendly local plumber who said he would be along just as soon as he had removed someone’s gas fire. I telephoned the
Youngest of the Darling Daughters and her fella - not because they could actually help in a practical sense but because I just needed somebody to talk to. They advised a call to the insurance company which, if nothing else, helped take my mind off the
waterfall while I answered countless questions about the age of our house, whether I had artex ceilings and, if so, how long our ceiling had been so decorated. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are really good reasons why these particular questions
need to be asked but at the moment I can’t imagine what they might be.
At this point two messages pinged into my mobile phone in quick succession.
The first, from my brother-in-law wished me good morning and exhorted me to “have a fun day.” The second, from my GP surgery, urged me to get my blood pressure checked. My sense of humour kicked in for the first time that morning. My giggles were,
to be fair, liberally laced with hysteria…
You will be pleased to know that my friendly plumber has put my Troublesome Toilet (identified as the source
of my problems) out of action. I have mopped up four buckets full of water from the paddling pool aka the bathroom floor and another couple from the hall. I have consigned ten soaking wet beach towels firstly to the washing machine, then to the tumble drier.
Water finally stopped dripping through the cracks in the ceiling at around 1 p.m. My home telephone appears to have stopped working, possibly as a result of being water logged but, like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, I have decided to worry about
that tomorrow, being as tomorrow (as everyone knows) is another day.
Mr B said, if I was through worrying about the waterfall, how about me cooking a Hairy
Bikers Spanish Traybake for our dinner?
It was SO reassuring to be faced with a question I could actually answer…