You may remember I posted a couple of weeks ago about our bathroom / overflowing basin disaster, as a result of the bath being blocked.
The bath is still blocked. Since that incident we've tried two different types of Mr Muscle - the gel and the foamer.
I swore I wouldn't use the gel again after I nearly poisoned myself with chlorine gas trying to unblock the kitchen sink - it wouldn't sink through the standing water and when I tried to flush it through I broke the surface tension, thus filling the kitchen with noxious gas. In the end, that blockage just needed a plunger to shift it (when I finally ventured back into the kitchen with my nose and mouth covered by a towel, having reached the point of "If I don't sort this, we're going to die in our sleep"...), though the unfortunate result was that the pipe came loose and started dripping into Lisa's kitchen (Lisa's kitchen is always the victim of our pipe disasters, apparently), though Phil (Trevor-the-landlord's handiman mate) fixed that eventually. And by 'eventually' I mean, 'several months after the event', because Trevor was convinced it was our leaky sink causing the problem. Actually, Trevor, it wasn't; when you failed to fix the leaky sink before we moved in, David fixed it for us in a matter of seconds by tightening the fitting. The problem is your stupid bloody pipes.
Thus far, then, Paul and I have tried all of the following to clear the blockage in the bath:-
- Buster bathroom unblocker. The first time it wouldn't work properly because (shock horror) we had to use the bathroom sink and the kitchen sink and both were spitting up into the bath, thus rendering the unblocker useless.
- Buster kitchen unblocker. This didn't even touch it, but I've had a similar product before and it did work in keeping the kitchen plughole clean and fresh so that's something, at least.
- Domestos unblocker. I left this down for longer than the recommended time for kitchen sink blockages (i.e. food / fat) and it didn't even touch it. I didn't want to leave it down any longer in case it dissolved the pipes, which has unfortunately been the problem with most of the others as well.
- Buster bathroom unblocker, take two. This time we left it down there for two days when we went to London, having to advise both Darren and Paul's mum not to run water in the sink(s) when they came over to borrow a hat (probably better not to ask; I should have updated this at the time, really). This also did not work, except to dislodge a few bits from the clump in the pipes.
- Old-fashioned plunger. This has succeeded in dislodging more bits from the clump on a semi-regular basis, but very little else.
- Curtain wire. The first time this did at least pull out a clump of hair (ew), but other than that it's just finding the blockage, poking it and doing nothing.
- Mr Muscle Gel. This actually made things worse by sticking to the blockage and blocking the bath completely. OH HURRAH.
- Mr Muscle Foamer. I tried this last night after spending 20 minutes removing as much water as possible from the bath, firstly with a jug and then with a sponge. I couldn't even get the contents of the entire bottle, as advised, down all three plugholes. I got some of it down the bath, some down the kitchen sink and some down the bathroom sink, then gave up. After the recommended hour, the kitchen and bathroom sinks were at least devoid of poisonous foam, so I tried flushing it down the bath to no avail.
It is now completely blocked. The blockage has now moved and made things worse. Before, we could at least use the kitchen sink and it wasn't spitting into the bath (which it does normally), except now the kitchen sink is slow-moving and emptying completely into the bath, so not technically going anywhere.
I am now picturing this blockage in my mind as some giant alien being, growing bigger and bigger and eating everything that comes in contact with it. Like that bit in Akira. If we ever do get it out of the system I am tempted to take a photograph of it for posterity. Or at the very least send it to Trevor through the post as punishment for his crappy pipes.
Next course(s) of action: translucent has kindly offered a "plughole snake" to see if that works (one of those things that looks like a toothbrush on a piece of wire; when I saw them advertised I mocked them mercilessly but I'm running out of ideas now). When that inevitably fails we're going to take the side panel off to examine the pipes at the very least; if they're too complicated then we'll ring Trevor. If they look remotely easy to handle then we'll get the bucket out and get in there ourselves. Part of me is deathly curious to know what's breeding in there; the other part is dreading the inevitable stench.
Paul is telling me not to get so stressed about this, but in fairness, he doesn't need to wash his hair twice a week. I needed to have a shower last night so spent another 20 minutes decanting new water out of the bath once the foamer had failed, just so I could wash my hair (I would rather go to work with freshly-washed frizz than Snape-like greasiness). The water from my shower is still in the bath, which would seem to imply that it's now definitely completely blocked. The kitchen is also full of washing up that needs doing, which I was going to attempt last night, but after two hours of bathrub trauma I really couldn't be bothered. In order to do said washing up we are having to pour the water from the bowl into the toilet; and it doesn't help that instead of doing anything remotely productive whilst I was out on Saturday, Paul instead opted to get pissed. (Diddums has had man-flu; apparently wine is the only cure. :P)
And now he will moan that I'm being horrible, but ARGH THIS IS STRESSFUL AND I FEEL LIKE I'M TRYING TO DEAL WITH IT ON MY OWN. *breathes*
The only small mercy is that at least the washing machine waste pipe leads off in a different direction, presumably because it was fitted a long time after the kitchen was put in. So I can at least do laundry, which is the only form of clean!therapy I'm getting right now. The bathroom is in dire need of cleaning, and I can't do anything about it because there's nowhere for the water to go, and anyway it's pointless cleaning the bath until it's fixed.
Oh yes. On Saturday we had our second concert of this season (I missed the Verdi thanks to the sprained foot, though apparently it didn't go that well anyway), the Bernstein/Parry/Faure/Durufle one. We had a low audience turn-out (as usual) but those that attended seemed to think it went well. I think the Bernstein Chichester Psalms went the best out of all of it, but probably only because we've rehearsed it to death. The Faure (Cantique du Jean Racine) was pretty, and the Parry was... well, patriotic. Durufle's Requiem is a lot nicer than I remember; in fact I could only recall having sung it with Derby Choral Union but had forgotten it all completely.
I ended up being five minutes late to the rehearsal. I gave myself an hour to get there and was waiting about 20 minutes for the 50 to turn up. Apparently there was some Christmas parade or something in Birmingham, but that wasn't until 4.30 so I have no frelling clue what was up with the traffic three hours beforehand. Once I'd finally got on a 50 I debated whether to stay on it and risk Digbeth traffic or get off in Moseley and get the 1 to avoid the walk across town. I did get off in Moseley - the realtime thing said the next bus wasn't for 15 minutes (it was already 2.10 by this point, 5 minutes before I was suppoed to be there), but luckily one turned up shortly thereafter. I subsequently ended up in the back row, which might have had something to do with the fact that I wasn't really feeling the concert.
I am feeling a bit blah about choir again. All the people who should come to the concerts are consistently too skint to do so, and it always feels a bit pointless to work hard for said concerts when it's only for my own benefit, or the benefit of people who are not there to see me specifically. There was a time when merely singing for singing's sake would have been enough to keep me there, but lately I keep wondering what the bloody point is. A lot of this is to do with choir itself. For instance, during the Bernstein there were a few little solos which choir members did, and I had been hoping they would offer up the opportunity to anyone wishing to take part. What they did instead was use the people they'd used last season for the Macmillan semi-chorus, despite saying a couple of weeks beforehand that they would scout for interest first.
Just... why bother mentioning it? The last couple of times they asked for interest; the first time I was recovering from a cold and on the night in question was in no fit state to 'audition'; the second time I wasn't sure if I could hit the top C (I can manage a B / B-flat no trouble, C is hit-and-miss) so didn't audition for the semi-chorus. I had actually been considering going for it this time, only to have them not bother to ask.
We frequently have a semi-chorus for various pieces, or certain members who get cherry-picked to do special compositions (recently some of our choir ladies did a new piece). The correlation between our original audition 'scores' and whether we are Chosen Ones is obvious. I don't know what my score was, but am still convinced I only got in because Colin was in a good mood at the time. I was out-of-practice, nervous, and forgot how to sight-read, and did not give the best performance I could have done. Besides which, Colin is quite intimidating until you get to know him. At this point I might as well just wait for my re-audition (we have to do so regularly) to roll around so they can kick me out.
I dunno. I think this entry has been a while coming. The bath drama is making me stressed, tired and cranky, and I'm not in the best frame of mind. I already lost one hobby to my mental imbalance and would rather not lose another, but apparently my brain wants to destroy everything I've ever enjoyed.
And to top everything off, the bath stress seems to have given me another kidney infection. No more coffee for me for a while, then.
I think I'll post this otherwise it'll never end... I shall put in an early BAH HUMBUG just to get it out of the way. :P