I've just re-read this and realized I am at the verge of turning this blog into a Stephen Fry-style Tweet.
I went to the toilet today. This is usually quite uneventful but today it spelt the start of a disaster. I hit the flush button and nothing happened. Lifting the cistern I noticed it was empty except for a full bottle of water that the previous tenant must have left as a joke I don't get. I followed the back of the cistern to a pipe in the wall behind the toilet. This pipe had a little tap on it and my guess was that it was turned fully so there was no water getting through to fill up the cistern.
I reached down to the back of the toilet and tried to turn this tap a little more. It didn't budge. So I took out Granddad's Guide to DIY Success and skipped the first few chapters on 'putting up a shelf with one bracket' and 'how to power your wardrobe' and went to 'how to make a tap turn'. Quickly skimming down the ingredients list I noticed I was precisely 1 pair of pliers short.
I went down to my local corner shop and was followed all the way round by the clerk. All the way round. Very agitating. He didn't have a pair of pliers but I could hardly walk out empty-handed after he'd watched me like a shoplifter all the way round his shop. So I bought a notebook. I went down the road to the other corner shop and got fixed up there. Feeling happy about this I also bought some custard creams.
Back at the flat, I put the pliers around the tap and broke the tap off. The floor, my jeans and face became very damp very quickly. Plugging my finger into the newly freed pipe end, I searched the floor for the tap that'd fired off. Using both my legs I managed to get the tap and would it fit back on the pipe? Would it b*****y. Right. Blocking the pipe again I had another think.
I definitely needed to turn off the water to fix this. I let go of the pipe to check under the sink and then successfully turned off the sink taps. Great. Back to the pipe. It must be in the kitchen somewhere then. With some cunning flannel usage I left the pipe and legged it slipping into the kitchen and successfully turned off the kitchen sink's taps and the gas. Great.
Freezing cold from not only the freezing cold flat but by the freezing cold water I was wearing, I grabbed my phone and went back to plug the pipe with a new finger this time. I called the guy that looks after the foreign teachers at the uni and couldn't get across the urgency of the situation because anything above a certain volume or beyond a certain delivery speed and he can't understand my English.
30 MINUTES later the world's most smiley landlord arrives at the bathroom door and stands there waiting for a response to her Chinese question. I didn't have an answer; I didn't know the question. She laughed some more and went outside the flat to where the stop tap is. Of course, why didn't I think that the stop tap will be outside?
Anyway, she telephoned a plumber who fixed a new tap to the pipe. I gave them a custard cream.