Oh no, you didn’t! Oh, yes, I did!

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All double boiled, dried and folded, ready to be put away.

But why on earth would I be doing this after ten o’clock in the evening on Christmas Day?

Well, a little Boxing Day story for you, friends. Sit back with your cuppa and have a chuckle at the pantomime in our house yesterday.
My better-half and I are ill. He’s much worse than I am, but I’ve been fighting what he’s got and just feel mince.
And I was feeling the cold. It’s winter here in Bonnie Scotland and, though we have no snow where we live, others have, and it’s certainly cold enough for it. The old radiator in the living room was not very hot, though the others throughout the house were, so I decided it needed bled. Now, I know how to bleed radiators. I’ve been doing it for thirty-odd, very odd, years, since we got our first central heating system. Piece of cake!
It was nearing dinner time, so, while the oven was warming up, ready for me to cook the huge, gorgeous half side of salmon hubby had got for a song and a sixpence. I went through to do the job.
Did I mention it was an old radiator?
I turned the key a little. Whoosh! Water started pouring out. I tried to turn the key back. Nothing happened. If anything, the water seemed to shoot out faster. Maybe I was turning the wrong way? (Panic set in early) I tried turning the other way. Nothing! Just more water, and even more water, coming out at an alarming rate. I tried turning it back again. Nothing! Nothing but more water.
The valve had popped out…no, shot out…to say hello. There it was behind the piano. Hello!

I tried to stop the flow with my thumb, but, of course, by now the water was coming through roasty-toasty!
Better-Half was up in bed sound asleep. He really isn’t well. I shouted and shouted to no avail. Meanwhile, the blister that was forming on my thumb was getting very painful.
Did I mention the water was hot now?
I tried to turn the radiator off at the regulator at the bottom, but it didn’t seem to slow the flow at all.
Meanwhile, the oven was still on, nothing in it and I could smell burning.
I changed thumbs. Water spurting everywhere…but not on the fire in the kitchen!
I screamed for Sleepy-Better-Half. Loudly! Again and again.
Poor soul woke up wondering what on earth was happening, assumed I was being attacked and came stumbling down the stairs in his boxers to save me.
I yelled for him to turn the oven off and check what was on fire, bring every towel he could find in the downstairs bathroom, and turn the central heating pump off…in any order he chose as long as it all happened NOW. I thought turning the pump off might help slow the flow of water. It didn’t.
He then changed places with me, putting his thumb over the hole, while I ran to check for fire and phone for help.
Did I mention, by the way, that it was Christmas Day?
Fortunately, there was no fire, just an uncleaned oven…blush for shame…burning itself clean…bless it.

After several unanswered calls to several different numbers, one plumber answered. I told him the situation in the calmest panic voice I could muster, and, after he asked me if I could tell him again after taking a breath, he told me I should turn off the valve at the other side of the radiator. That one needs a spanner, of course.
Hubby and I swapped places again, with me trying to hold back the tide with my blistered thumbs while he ran upstairs to get some trousers on to go out to the hut in the sleety rain to get his spanners. Did I mention that he really is quite ill and really should be in his bed?
Do you think there was a spanner to fit? Was there dicky-bird! We tried the pliers, we tried the shifting spanner, we tried our teeth….well, slight exaggeration, but that’s how it felt. It would not budge.
Swap over time again, while I went to phone the plumber and hubby took over the little Dutchboy exercise.
The plumber agreed to come…for 150 pounds sterling callout fee!
Did I mention it was Christmas Day?
Fifteen long, wet minutes later, he arrived with his tools and set to work. ‘Oh, this valve’s well stuck,’ he grunted as he wrestled with the appropriate-sized spanner.
Tell me about it!
‘Oh, and this on/off regulator valve is burst!’
Yeah?
‘Oh, and so is this one! It’s lost the valve.’
Mmm-hmmm.
We were now slopping about in water that was a delightful shade of brown sludge, into which I was throwing my lovely clean towels, trying desperately to keep the water away from various vulnerable plugs and things.
But he got it stopped! I think knowing what he was doing helped. That and the right tools.
I cheered…hoarsely…did I mention I had a sore throat? Did I mention I had hardly any voice left? Did I mentioned I’d had to shout and scream…a lot…and loudly?
I have to say, the plumber was very kind, got the radiator fixed, measured for a new one, helped hubby move the piano and lift the rugs so we could mop up, and left us to it…at the reduced price of 100 quid because he felt sorry for us….and it’s all we had in the house.
Meanwhile, the oven was cold again and no sign of any kind elves, pixies or fairies coming to make the dinner, so, while my poor sick hubby mopped, I cooked, and we both flopped onto the couch at 8.30pm to eat the dinner I’d started preparing at 5 o’clock, thinking we’d watch Downton Abbey while we ate.
Had we recorded it? Of course not!
Why spoil the perfect day?

~~~

19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lesley
    Dec 27, 2013 @ 01:01:27

    Catch up TV for Downton, recuperation for you two & glad the sense of humour stayed intact. X

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    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 27, 2013 @ 01:07:04

      Found it’s going to be repeated, got it on to record.
      Duvet day today to recover.
      Another duvet day for me on New Year’s Day to keep me out of mischief!
      You gotta laugh 🙂

      Like

      Reply

  2. Lucas
    Dec 27, 2013 @ 12:09:19

    Hope your ok from all that drama!

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    Reply

  3. KatYa
    Dec 27, 2013 @ 12:55:57

    Wow! I’m glad You lived to tell!

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  4. Teagan Kearney
    Dec 27, 2013 @ 20:35:30

    One of those ‘it can’t get any worse’ scenarios – and of course it does. Sorry but this Xmas day tale had me in fits, although I’m sure it was utter misery! Sorry – you really have to put this in a scene sometime, Christine. Hope your thumbs are recovering. Can’t help wondering what you’ve got planned for New Year’s Day?

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  5. Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin
    Dec 27, 2013 @ 20:35:36

    Ha ha ha …that’s life, as they say. I hope you are feeling better Christine xx

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  6. luckyoldman
    Dec 28, 2013 @ 01:20:34

    I love Scotland, although I’ve never visited it while ill.
    My talent is to bring extreme weather such as Volcanoes, 100 year snow storms and such as that.
    Each of my five visits have involved letting flats, and working from Edinburgh as a home base.
    A couple of those flats have led to experiences such as you describe.
    I don’t know how I missed that you live there , but it makes me happy.
    I hope that you and your hubby are feeling better and have a wonderful New Year.
    Your story was very enjoyable.You can’t make this stuff up. Thankfully we don’t have too.

    Thanks

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 28, 2013 @ 01:54:22

      Thank you for reading and I’m pleased you enjoyed my tale. 😉
      I love living here, close enough to Edinburgh to enjoy what it has to offer, but in a little village in pretty countryside.

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      Reply

  7. sharonscorde
    Dec 28, 2013 @ 17:56:27

    Aw – to think you were having such an exciting time while I I was munching into Apple crumble and custard! Really enjoyed the tale Christine xxx

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  8. Katie Cross
    Jan 01, 2014 @ 15:01:15

    Oh my gosh, what a wild story! You’ll never forget that Christmas 🙂

    Like

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  9. Anonymous
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 21:17:41

    That must have been very sore! Love you Cassie xx

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    Reply

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