Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Half-term, plumbing and Wayne Marshall

Business tends to drop a bit at the school half-term week, so this is usually a good time to do other jobs which have been waiting for a while.  I started out with the best of intentions, sorting out paperwork, bank reconciliations, invoices and doing a general stock check and tidy up.

But on Monday afternoon I heard the sound something like that of a tap turning on.  Mystified I tried to find the source of the noise, and when I got into the kitchen about 30 seconds later, found 1 cm of water on the floor, rising fast!  After a tussle with the stopcock, I managed to turn off my water and mop up.  No more work done that day!

So the plumber turned up, identified where the leak was roughly (in the floor), managed to restore a small (cold, not hot) water supply in the kitchen only, and then started to hunt in the floor for the leaky pipe.  Unfortunately the pipes were concreted in and in the process of excavating he hit the gas pipe, thus leaving me without heating and cooking facilities just in time for the coldest night of the year!

Then he went home, no doubt to a warm house with hot and cold running water.  Fortunately I had some coal and lit a fire to keep myself warm in the evening, got a microwave dinner and wrapped up well.

On Tuesday morning the next plumber turned up, made an attempt to repair the gas pipe but couldn't as it had fractured completely.  It turns out the local water company decided to massively increase the water pressure on Monday afternoon, and the cold water intake pipe gave up the ghost.  The really good news?  My insurance doesn't cover the repair to the pipes, just resulting damage, which didn't happen as I was on the spot when it happened.  So the answer was to replace the offending pipework, bypassing the old stuff.  This meant running the pipes around the door instead of under the floor.  Cue plumber number 2, several long copper pipes, a pipe bender and a blow torch.  Here is a snapshot of the new pipework running above the door - lovely eh?  Bear in mind each of these pipes cost me £108 (ok, they're a lot longer than this snippet shows, but still...):

So after the flood, parting with over £300, 5 hours of workmen and mess, and the cleanup, I really needed something to cheer me up.  Today I went to the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester to hear a lunchtime concert by organist/composer/conductor/general musical superman Wayne Marshall.  He played Messiaen's Les Corps Glorieux - I'm generally not a Messiaen fan but hearing his organ music played so well live was relaxing and uplifting.  It was recorded for later broadcast on Radio 3, they're having a Messiaen season to commemorate his 100th anniversary in December.  I have become quite a fan of organ music lately, but it really does sound much better live than recorded.  I intend to increase and improve the selection of books I carry for organ - I hope to do this after Christmas.

So, my half-term week hasn't gone quite to plan so far - how was your week?


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