I am nursing a patch of nettle stings on my arm, why? well let me rewind a few days...
When something goes wrong, its usually followed hot on the heels by something else, well about a week ago, Dan was just finishing his shower getting ready for work when the pump packed in and the water slowed to a trickle. Not a normal stick on the wall power shower, but a pump attached to the water pipe leading to the shower head. The water pressure is shite at the best of times but not enough to go round the miles of pipes and give enough pressure to make the shower look like a shower. We called our trusty plumber, (as calling the landlord is like getting a twitter follow from Piers Morgan, ie impossible and never going to happen)
The plumber came and declared the pump to be knacked. erm I could have told you that. Anyway almost a week later he's still not got the go ahead from the landlord to buy a new pump, so he might just get one and sort it later. Wonder if the landlord is dead and decaying at home??? He's not returning calls apparently.
What are we going to do without a shower??
Take a bath.
A bath (looking in horror), thats something I use for the kids, I never have time to have a bath and just to get in and straight out is a waste, but bath it is, and has been for a week. Must go buy some more baby bubble bath, its amazing and leaves your skin really soft. Might get used to having no shower, but saving the planet and all that, showers are much more economical and times are hard. Good job we don't have a water meter.
Anyway, the something else.. I noticed the other day that the toilet seemed to take a long time to empty after flushing. My first thought was, O what have the flushed down it now??????
But little alarm bells stared ringing so I went outside and looked in the drains, and lo and behold they were full. Oh no that only means one thing. I lifted the inspection chamber to our septic tank and it was filling up. Oh bloody fantastic, its was pouring down, the pump in the tank to remove excess water was obviously not doing its job and now I was worried the rain water would help it quickly fill back to the house and well you can imagine the scene, outpouring from the loo.
I contacted the people who had done a massive repair 18mths ago, and no they cant come out as they are going away for a week. Could it wait?????????????? No I dont fancy splashing around the house in wellies with toilet waste. So I did the next best thing and rang the guy who empties septic tanks. At least it might buy a bit of time till the repair man returns from holiday.
He turned up, and asked who'd emptied it since the last time they were there? Er no one why? It needs emptying every 12mths (and thankfully this is a landlord reponsibility so guess who's getting the bill)
He duly de-sludged it (and it was rank, believe me) and lifted out the pump which was clogged up with tissue and the so called degradable toilet wipes the kids use. The pump was still in working order, phew but the problem was caused cos the tank hadnt been emptied, waste had got into the clean water chamber and when the poor pump tried to suck the water out it obviously sucked up more than it should and ceased to work, hence the tank filling up even more with water etc and then overflowing back towards the house.
LESSON, IF YOU HAVE A SEPTIC TANK GET IT EMPTIED EVERY 12MTHS OR ELSE
Now, this guy needed paying and guess what, the landlord was not forthcoming with replies to my messages, so I gave the nice man a cheque, asked him not to pay it in to give the landlord time to settle the invoice, and guess what will be deducted off his rent if he doesnt cough up?? I bet he''l be in contact then.
The nettle rash, oh yes. He left the pump switched off, as it actually needs a certain level of water in the tank before it kicks in, and cos he'd completely sucked the tank dry (with his tractor hosepipe of course)he said to check in the morning to see if the level had come up and switch the pump back on.
So I waved Dan of to work and popped into the garden, bent down to lift the lid (wearing some of the illicit blue gloves Dan acquired when Harry was on chemo for barrier nappy changes) and no the level wasnt up enough so I can do loads of washing, a few baths cos of the non-existent shower and that will surely get the level up I thought to myself. Then OUCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH what was eating my arm??
I looked round and in a Homer Simpson Doh! moment I realised I had plonked myself in a patch of nettles, and a short sleeve t-shirt was not the best thing to wear. Cursing the strimmer for running out of line so Dan didnt cut them back, cursing Dan for not cutting them back, cursing oh yes its behind the barrier for the tank cover so no-one actually goes there so they never get cut back, cursing me for not looking where I plonked myself, cursing the landlord for not arranging to have the tank emptied, cursing cursing cursing
So, in old wives tale fashion I looked around for the proverbial dock leaves that always grow where nettles are so you can rub them in and stop the sting (they do work actually) and I found the leaves and arrggghhh they were covered in mud (but not being to sure if it was just garden mud or something yak from the tank) I didnt use them. Result one arm feeling like its on fire and with a million hot iron pins being stuck in and out. Now I know why ma and pa always yelled 'mind the nettles they sting'. Yes they bloody do.
Oh, its raining, good that will fill the tank up nicely.
Yesterday was a great day, my super clever niece Chloe found out she'd passed her A Levels and had been given a place at her first choice Univ. I've been on tenterhooks for her since June, she's worked so had and now its paid off for her. Still can't believe she's old enough to leave home, but you can catch up via Rachels blog. Go have a look (the link is down the right hand side of my home page)she's so funny.
I decided to wash the car, and Matthew and Madeleine helped, well they hindered actually and we all ended up soaked, the car was nice and clean but its raining. As Matthew said that was a complete waste of time wasnt it. At least its raining on a clean car. I was going to clean the insides out today, but its raining. Oh well ha ha
Marlene (from Rainbow Trust) came, and William and Madeleine were excited all morning till she landed. They demanded to be taken out, now despite the rain Marlene said she'd take them to Morecambe so they could look at the sea. The kids got their shoes on in record time, why is it I have to ask them a zillion times before they even move? And they had a lovely time, they managed to go on the seafront playpark then went to sainsburys. You would think they'd been to Disneyland, they had a brilliant time, I had a brilliant time, I had a lovely hot coffee and did the crossword in peace, Harry was asleep. It was delicious, thank heavens for Rainbow Trust
I decided to see how my cherubs were doing in the height/weight, Harry is still only 10.4kg (he was that last month) and his height and weight are firmly glued to the 9th centile in the dreaded red book charts.
I started with William, he's 96cm and 16kg. Both plotting on the 50th centile so Mr Average. Then Matthew, he's 130cm and 25kg. That puts his height back on the 50th centile (it was on the 75th) and he's now convinced he's shrinking. His weight is way below on the 25th so its true, he is a lanky beanpole. I was a little surprised, I thought he was taller but the tape measure doesnt lie. So Madeleine was last. She measured in at 20.5kg up on the 91st centile (I am so gonna get the 'your child is overweight' crap from the school nurse when she starts in September) but her height was a massive 110cm, I checked it 3 times. This puts her up on the 91st centile too so she's tall and in proportion and her BMI comes out in the green healthy section so let the nurse say something if she dares.
I have had to get her age 5-6 school uniform as the ones for her age are too short. Its lovely seeing this as all the way through her baby years, she was firmly down on the 25th centile for both. What happened? She started eating and has never stopped.
Now unfortunately for me, I still adopt that and the only way I'm now growing is outwards, and I suppose the complete absence of any form of exercise isnt helping. I can't use the 'stuck in hospital bored on my own' excuse now really. So I better buy some batteries for the wii fit board and get my backside back on it.
My arm is still burning, the kids are demanding breakfast, and Matthew is worried if he doesnt it eat soon he will shrink even more. TTFN