This is because I stated in my LJ on my last proper entry, the birthday / London write-up, that because something nice had happened to me in the form of a tax refund, something awful was surely to follow... This is because Fate hates me, and I think she always has.
"Oh," says Fate, "you're writing again? Good for you. I'm going to keep you up all night with inspiration and flowing words whilst you're at work, but as soon as you go on leave I'm going to kill your Muses. Bye now!"
"Oh," says Fate, "you've had some good news? Hurrah! I'll just go and flood your bathroom, then."
Basically, here is what happened. Last night Paul actually managed to come home from work and not end up at the bloody pub with Daniel (I don't like him going out on Tuesdays because otherwise, he'll get back either shortly before me or shortly after me, and either way he doesn't have time to cook my dinner for me. By the time I get back at 9.00pm I am STARVING and TIRED and CRANKY and if Paul goes out unexpectedly on Tuesdays I retaliate by shouting and being a moody cow...) and he was fully prepared to do the washing up, not spend the night on the PC, cook our stir-fry dinner, etc.
He got home to the sound of dripping in Lisa's flat. His immediate thought was that the pipes had burst.
I should mention here that our bath has been blocked for some time, which I think is as a result of accidentally getting some fat from the grill pan down the sink when we blitzed the kitchen. I think I've mentioned before about our shitty pipe set-up, and that the kitchen and bathroom sinks both upchuck into the bath becuase of it. So, there's a blockage at the kitchen/bath joint and the bath is horrendously slow to drain. Happily the kitchen sink is no longer upchucking into the bath because of said blockage, but that's a small mercy, really.
Anyway, we've tried to clear the blockage to no avail - I've tried three different products, we put the one that worked last time (Buster) down when we went to London for a couple of days and THAT didn't work, and we've tried plunging it. The Buster stuff worked a little bit to dislodge some bits of grease which have been slowly emerging out of the plughole (yuk) but the blockage is still there.
Last night Paul had also decided he was going to get the side panel off the bath to examine the pipe set up, which was our next option after curtain wire.
The pipes, it transpired, had not burst. Instead the hot tap had been on all day in the bathroom, and because of the blockage the bath was half-full and the sink was overflowing (when the bath is full of water the sink will not drain either, go figure), which had gone straight through Lisa's kitchen ceiling.
Thank heaven for small mercies, though: namely, the leak in the kitchen was only over the window, not over anything electrical; the boiler tripped the electrics off after a certain point and thus our gas bill hopefully won't be too horrendous, or at least only as bad as half-filling the bath would be ordinarily; our bathroom sink is on a cant so the overflow was only out of one corner.
When Paul told me all this on the phone we had a bit of a bad line and I thought he'd said the bath had overflown so I was panicking that the damage would be horrendous. So at least it was only the sink, and the only things to be damaged in Lisa's kitchen were the ceiling / wallpaper and her cactus plants.
My thought process on the rest of my bus journey home, on receiving this information, was the doom and gloom of us having to tell Trevor (landlord) and him demanding money to unblock the pipes / fix the wallpaper, which would obviously destroy my tax refund. Hence the Twitter update, which was from my phone whilst still on the bus.
Needless to say, then, that Paul didn't get the washing up done or cook dinner. He proposed to order in pizza, but the last time we ordered pizza mine wasn't very nice and I wasn't in the mood for it anyway, so he had cheese on toast and I had some of the leftover jambalaya I made on Saturday.
As for today's entry's subject header about reading the signs, I should have realised something bad would happen because for a brief few moments yesterday afternoon I was feeling positive and energetic and enthusiastic. And whenever I feel like that, something bad happens several hours later, or has already happened. I really wish I were joking, but apparently my psychic ability takes two entirely separate forms: ridiculous, unprecedented positivity, or a deep and inexplicable sense of impending doom. One of these days I should learn to harness it and put it to good use.
SO. Yes. Paul spent much of his evening mopping up water in both our bathroom and Lisa's kitchen. The general consensus is that we are not going to tell Trevor because he'll never let us hear the end of it. We have a few more options for clearing the bath blockage, including the aforesaid taking the panel off the bath, before we concede defeat and tell him its blocked. And yes, he will discover the blockage is grease and we'll never hear the end of that either, but it's infinitely better than telling him about the flooding.
The thing is, this would have happened whether the blockage was there or not, because of the stupid pipe set-up. Admittedly it might have taken a lot longer to reach the same end point, but the bath fills up even when it's free-flowing.
I knew there were gremlins in the flat, because they keep stealing things: like the metal tape measure and my embroidery instructions. If they're going to start messing with taps, I might have to catch them and microwave them. Srsly.