columnist

Tue 31 Mar 2015

Landady: Toilet break ...

Although for the most part, my life is lovely, glamorous and enjoyable, there are times when it stumbles into a nadir which jolts me right back to reality. Saturdays, of all days, are pretty grim for me, especially now that the whiff of spring is in the air, meaning my summer(ish) job on the Pier will begin once more. Saturdays for me normally begin with a run along the seafront at 6am, as I have to start work at The Supermarket at 7am, where I work until 3pm. Then it’s the Pier from 4pm until 10 or 11 pm. Mathematicians among you will have calculated that this leaves just under an hour on Saturdays for me to do everything I need to do in the house.

Toilet
Today, while I was at The Supermarket, I received a text from one of my lodgers claiming that the downstairs toilet was leaking. I assumed that this was something to do with my changing of the loo seat earlier in the week. Now that The Big Son (who had a propensity for breaking toilet seats in mysterious late night seat-wrecking binges) has moved out, I thought I’d treat the lodgers to a spanking new seat, which I installed a few days ago. When I got in for my sliver of an hour at home between jobs, I was alarmed to see that my lodger had been economical with his description of the ‘leak’, which was in fact a fully fledged ‘flood’. Then my downstairs tenant rang, claiming, somewhat predictably, that water was pouring through her bathroom ceiling. Thanking the Lord for my long-ago training as a plumber, I isolated the water supply, then set about checking where the leak was coming from. To my embarrassment, I discovered that one of the wingnuts that connects the cistern to the toilet bowl was missing. There could only be one culprit. ME!


While removing the old toilet seat in the week, I’d been cocky enough to chat to one of my lodgers at the same time, and had accidentally unscrewed the wingnut from the cistern instead of the loo seat without noticing. Women and DIY, huh? Not a marriage made in heaven.


To make matters worse, I had casually thrown the old wingnut in the bin and, rather than go through the rubbish bag – literally a needle in a stinking haystack – in order to locate it, instead went to Robert Dyas and purchased a shiny new one.


So that’s how I spent my hour off last Saturday. Now I’ve just got to paint the downstairs ceiling ...