Sunday 27 November 2022
Yes, Wednesday begins with water actually pouring from my kitchen ceiling as I potter down to make my 6am cuppa! I sprint, like Usain Bolt himself, back up the stairs to turn off whatever tap is causing the deluge to find that… the tap is broken and there is no stopping the endless torrent of scalding water from swirling across my bathroom floor.
“Arghhh … help?“
Last time this sort of thing happened, I had a man in my life who just seemed to know what to do and … ooh I remember now…turned the water off! Something about a ‘stopcock?’ I vaguely recall. The only question is…where the devil do I find one of those?
On the off-chance that the male of the species are just programmed to know how to deal with DIY disasters, magnetically drawn to mechanical solutions by virtue of genetic birthright, I wake up Small Boy. It’s an early hour for a teenager and apart from running around like a headless chicken brandishing saucepans and throwing towels into the deepening pools of water, he isn’t much use.
I briefly contemplate the horrific indignity of calling up an ex-bloke to ask for guidance, but, sternly reminding myself to have a ‘crumb of self-respect’, pull myself together and instead start scouring every door and cupboard for inspiration. Near the front door, after 2 minutes which feel like 2 hours, I find a dial that I turn and turn until…
the water stops.
Gosh, I feel triumphant. Look at me averting disaster like a pro! Searching for a stopcock anyone?W ell allow me to show you how! Who’d have thought?
Who indeed? For only 4 days earlier, I’d met my old lab partner from college for a catch-up and trip to a local art exhibition. On this occasion I’d managed to book us tickets for January instead of November! Not my finest hour but, the gallery managed to rebook us and my dear friend loved the chaos, for it allowed her to fondly recall my ‘hopelessness‘ in the world of Physics practicals. “I think I just did all the work, while you sat there being pretty and being chatted up by ****” she recalled with a merry laugh.
I have no memory at all of ever being pretty, plus ‘Hopeless’ is that a little harsh? Admittedly, there was the unfortunate incident with the radio-active source (I was banned for a fortnight after that particular mishap) and, looking back, we did have to throw out the charred remains of my first every attempt to wire up a simple circuit to light bulb. So possibly, she has a point but … I am pretty sure I got there in the end. I fact… I aced Physics A Level.
Could I be on track to ‘ace plumbing’ too? I decide, on balance, stop at the stopcock and hand over to the professionals. With a fair degree of relief, I call the plumber and head to work…