Saturday, 29 October 2011

Alive, at any rate


9 pm Friday and the house is cold, with open doors and windows overcoming the central heating effortlessly.

I find it hard to believe that 'nothing can be done' about this residual gas problem. I worry about becoming the shock-horror story of how 'something should have been done' (but wasn't, and now look at what happened!)

I reach a stage where, close to a self-pitying sob (no bathroom! building supplies everywhere! gas seeping uncontrollably into my cold, dusty, comfortless, draughty home!), I contemplate booking myself into a B&B for the night, but stiffen the upper lip and go to bed with an electric blanket on, set to All Night. And oddly, sleep soundly. Lottie and Millie glue themselves to the warm bed and don't move till morning. Tosca coughs a little in the corner, but she is better now, and quickly settles down for the night.




(Note: wrong seat on toilet; replacement awaited. Well-known builders merchants gets it wrong again.)




(Note: wrong size of basin; replacement awaited. Well-known builders merchant etc...)

This morning, the gassy smell is still there, but the judicious closing of doors in the the rabbit warren that is the downstairs of my house has kept Flossie, Scooter and Hamish cosy and ungassed in the dining room while the hall feels the full force of the wind through the propped-open back door.

This afternoon, the smell has lessened. I clean the sitting room within an inch of its life, so that there is one room at least where we can be comfortable and dust-free this weekend, and I feel a bit more hopeful.

The building supplies will dwindle next week and metamorphose into a glossy tiled bathroom, with gleaming taps and shower panels; the smell of wet plaster will change to that of beautiful scented soaps, and all will be clean. Including me.

And then the work on the utility-to-be will start up again....

19 comments:

jabblog said...

I'm glad you survived and the house is still standing. Are your neighbours experiencing the same problem? It seems unlikely that your house would be the only one affected.

Hazel said...

I've been wondering about you all day. Glad you made it through the night. Once it is all finished and you and the clan are enjoying a cosy winter with a sparkly bathroom and functional utility, you will laugh at all this. Honestly, you will...really! Well, maybe. "-)

Toffeeapple said...

Thanks for checking in, I was worried about you all. I do hope that the well known builders merchants get their act together and sort things out!

Fingers crossed that it will soon be as you see it in your mind's eye.

Sue said...

Oh good lord. I do hope you get it all sorted soon. It sounds awful.

KitKatCot said...

You have been through this sort of thing before. We know you have, you told us. It's called 'Having Stuff Done To Your House' Our shower has been leaking on and off for 9 years. Last week- NO MORE -new shower put in at extortionate cost. Lovely.....today shower leaking again. Hey Ho.

Arthur Ransome said...

After all the worry, that first picture is priceless! And oh the joys of the wrong supplies (I'm still trying to come to terms with my toddler-bath-sized whb). I think it's very sensible of you to make one room sparkling clean - it will help morale tremendously. And only one more day to go before the return of the men (on Saturday and Sunday, they do no work at all . . .)

Isabelle said...

Oh dear, poor you. I trust all will be a lot better soon.

At least you presumably have your Swiss bank account to pay for it all...

the veg artist said...

So glad you have survived the night!
Daft question, but they did cap off the old pipe (now underground?) before covering it with concrete, did they? Otherwise, it is possible that it is coming from some old route that is still actually in use by someone else.
I couldn't bring myself to ask this yesterday, in case you were too scared to go to bed!

rachel said...

Jabblog, I'm the only one with the gas problem - the emergency man checked next door too.

Kitcatcot, yes, I certainly have been through this before - and not very long ago either! The great thing this time round is that someone else is managing it all; I am left free to moan.

Isabelle, the dream of a slightly newer car has come to an end, in favour of slate floors and decent quality shower panels! I may have to live on lentils after all this, but it will be lentils cooked and eaten in a comfy house....

Veg artist, yes, they double checked the pipe, capped it off very thoroughly, and concreted over it. They seemed to know what they were doing, and the emergency man didn't seem worried, and now that the smell is fading, perhaps I can stop feeling so fraught too!

frayedattheedge said...

Malcolm says ..... if it was gas from an old tank,what you are probably smelling is the residual stenching agent. Should it continue, he advises that you could perhaps get an explosimeter - a device to check for explosive atmospheres just to be sure that it is not enough gas to generate an explosive atmosphere.
On a cheerier note, hope all the rights bits arrive and get fitted.
When I was a child, our gas meter - the kind you actually put money in, sat in front of the kitchen window!!

rachel said...

Malcolm, you made that word up! "Explosimeter" indeed! But I love the phrase "stenching agent". I shall remember that to use against Flossie some time.....

mountainear said...

How alarming - I've just read through the last post and this. Glad you are all OK.

I too would be a tad worried about the 'nothing can be done about it' attitude - I always feel I am being fobbed off. (silly hysterical middle-aged woman etc) Are you still in touch with the previous owner? If so perhaps she could throw some light on the smell?

And if all else fails carry on blaming Flossie.

June said...

All that chilly air probably helped you sleep well.

Erm...do you think you'll ever again live in a place that is not under construction? You must, in some dark corner of your soul, actually like this state of things.

rachel said...

June, perhaps you are right. I do love a project, it's true, and I like to see a house turn into a home. Last time I did this, it was to help a sale to happen; perhaps I need to finish this renovation and learn to live in it!

Noelle said...

Oh dear! This time I am certainly not laughing!
Keeping you and all your little family in thoughts and prayers!
Gas smell aside, the renovation will pay off Rachel! Hang in there!
P.S. Seems builders/merchants are the same nincompoops on this side of the pond!

elizabethm said...

Lots of fellow feeling from here Rachel. My parents were arch refurbishers and renovated five houses from a state of near dereliction. My Mums great theory was that you could bear anything if you had one calm and civilised room to retreat to. Best of luck. All will eventually be well, I am quite certain.

knutty knitter said...

At least you have a toilet seat - our 'builders merchants' forgot that item altogether.

Gas pipes are always a worry. There are a few here too that need taking care of - they are capped but they are also well above floor level and get tripped over. Why is it that men can't seem to get this sort of thing right the first time!

viv in nz

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Glad you're O.K.!!
I've been thinking wistfully about new plumbing ( for the house , not for me ) , but I might reconsider now !
Lentils are delicious , of course , but a steady diet of them might cause another problem ..... ?

Poshyarns said...

As one of those people who spends half her life saying things like "do you smell gas?" I really get your anxiety.

Explosimeter?!!! How do I not know of this? What a marvellous sounding thing.

Related Posts with Thumbnails