Tuesday, 20 September 2005


When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed…

There were no trumpets this morning, but the people – my partner and I – did shout. Not just one loud shout – several. And the wall didn’t collapse, thank goodness, only the tiles in my bathroom. Not all at once, burying us under a ton of “fired earth” or enveloping us in a cloud of plaster dust, but one by one, gently, nicely, in a well-behaved way. It didn’t help with the nightmare, but at least it didn’t make it worse.

Flashback to last Thursday: I got a note from the caretaker (yes, the one whose daughter is still alive in spite of trying to ride my old bike), saying that they, that is the builders that have been bothering us all day long for several weeks, and himself, had noticed a damp patch level with my bathroom on the external wall : there was a leak somewhere.

Panic in Shepherds Bush.

A plumber was summoned. He discovered that some of the tiles in my bathroom, which is tiled from head to toe, were coming off the walls. Oh, that! That’s not new; they’ve been hanging by a thread for several months. I’ve been very busy; I was waiting for the “right time” to do something about them. They didn’t bother me; I was very careful not to splash about when I had my (hand-held) shower.

The plumber’s verdict: there’s no leak anywhere; the wall’s damp because water has been going behind the loose tiles. They have to come off. The nightmare begins. Visions of all the tiles crashing down, etc. etc.

Back to the present. The loose tiles have been removed. I still can’t have anything done to the walls (I’d rather have them painted: you can see what’s happening at any given moment) because the outside wall has to dry up first.

I find it all very distressing. I like to do things myself. I feel powerless in front of those semi-bare walls.

Oh yes, the slap! I suppose I should slap myself for not dealing with the problem earlier. And I’m slapping my tiles for hiding the problem in the first place. So there!


  1. I'm sorry, dear J, but this has me grinning and it is 5:30 in the morning here, a time when you'd still be up from the previous day, if you lived in my time zone ;D. I mean, if you want sympathy and if you want to elicit slapping responses in others, then you'll have to stop being so damned funny and writing so charmingly about your polite but fugitive tiles.

  2. I'm not sure what I want to elicit with that post, but a grin will do very nicely. Thanks, L!

    I think I'm just offering it as a cautionary tale: look behind your tiles from time to time - those things are very sly and secretive. ;-)

  3. I'm sorry, but you made me grin, too. I'm simply not in a slapping mood when
    I'm giggling. Too durn funny.

  4. A giggle will do fine too. LOL!

  5. cautionary tale. hm. if you just would stop bathing, all of this could have been avoided. MWAH! zockso!

  6. I have now. :-(

    Zockso to you too! :-D

  7. I'm sorry, I was trying to feel sorry for you and I almost got there, but it is true that you are funny. However if you wanna go around slapping tiles I guess I'll help.


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