2018 isn’t working out well so far. Domestically speaking, pretty much everything that could go wrong has. And that’s the definition of Sod’s Law.
First of all the kettle gave up the ghost, then the microwave. As if this conspiracy of kitchen appliances wasn’t enough (and only a few weeks after we’d had to obtain and fit two different spare parts to the breadmaker within the space of a couple of months), the drains blocked. And while repairing the blockage, the gas company sawed through our gas supply. Which is why, for several hours on Tuesday in very cold weather, we had the windows wide open, no working drains, no means of cooking (we use gas, apart from the microwave) or even boiling water, and were unable to light a fire because of the explosion risk.
You may well be asking why a gas company was fixing the drains. Well, we had discovered that its workmen caused the blockage by cracking the ceramic soil pipe while digging holes all over our property to renew our gas service pipe back in 2016, and the drain eventually collapsed. Thankfully, the company took full responsibility, as the area in question was one of the excavated zones and there was 6” of concrete and tarmac overlying the drain. The damage could only have been done when that protective layer was removed, or while the hole was being backfilled before replacing it. Sure enough, when they re-excavated it last week they found a yellow gas pipe running right through where the top half of the drain pipe ought to have been. You can see the gas pipe, and the lower half of the broken drain, in this photo.
Unfortunately, the workmen then cut through this yellow pipe to make space for a new section of drain, thinking that it was old and disused, when in fact the same company had inserted a new plastic pipe down the middle of it less than two years ago. There was an immediate and overwhelming smell of gas inside the house. I’m guessing that these guys are no strangers to this sort of mishap because they had a temporary repair kit with them, which basically consisted of a sticky bandage. It slowed the leak without actually stopping it and we all waited – cold, tea-less and trying to avoid doing anything that might cause a spark – for a couple of hours while a gas fitter colleague was called to splice in a new length of plastic pipe.
I’m pleased to say that by Tuesday evening we had the gas back on, working drains and a backfilled hole. A chap turned up to do the concreting on Wednesday, followed by a tarmac crew on Thursday and then yesterday a man with a pressure washer to get rid of all the mud.
So take a brownie point, Northern Gas Networks, for getting it all sorted pretty swiftly. I just wish you hadn’t damaged the drain in the first place, nor made a pig’s ear of repairing it.
Oh, and in the meantime we’ve received a replacement microwave from the original supplier (it was still under guarantee) and bought a new kettle. But this morning my dear husband dropped his phone and broke the screen, so Sod still seems to have us in his grip.
I’m half way through this short-rows scarf now and it’s working out well – much easier going that trying to knit it on the diagonal. I reckon it should be about 36” long when I run out of yarn, which will certainly be enough to pin at the neck with a brooch, and maybe even enough to tie.
The mulberry silk yarn really is gorgeous to knit with, and the lustrous colours are beautiful. I wonder why Debbie Bliss discontinued it? Cost perhaps, it was originally well over £10 for a 50g ball, and with a DK yarn 50g doesn’t go very far. Fortunately, I bought mine at a show and it was discounted.