Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pre-Solstice, and Shower Repairs

We had another little home maintenance crisis over the weekend, when our shower hose ruptured and began spewing water at odd angles all over the bathroom. (This happened while we were bathing the dog, naturally, making her even less enthusiastic about having a bath.)

European showers are not like American showers. The shower head isn't fixed in the wall. Instead it hangs from a vertical rail and is attached to the wall plumbing via a flexible hose. It can be detached from the rail and used as a hand-held sprayer, which comes in handy when bathing, oh, a dog, for example.

When the hose went bad, Dave and I thought, "Oh NO!" Given how long it's taken our management company to address other maintenance issues, we figured we'd better just fix this one ourselves. Initially we envisioned having to call a plumber. But I discovered that the hose just unscrews, so Dave took it to the hardware store last night and found a replacement. He's in there showering now, and as far as I know, it's working fine.

Crisis averted!

As for our other crises, the mold situation appears to be no worse. I haven't cleaned the living room wall because I wanted the contractors to see it. Now they've come and gone, collecting information for their estimates, and I think the time has come to clean it up. That will be my task this evening.

And we finally received our lawn mower, which Dave had redelivered to school on Thanksgiving and brought home on Monday. It's actually not that large. We haven't unpacked it yet -- maybe this weekend. Our shaggy, leaf-strewn back garden really does need one last grooming before the depths of winter set in.

Not that anyone can see it. We're just about at the darkest point of the year. It's dark when I walk the dog in the morning and dark when I leave work at 5 p.m. The library is busier, too, since no one wants to be outside after school in the chilly gloom. I had 44 people in the library yesterday at closing time -- far more than usual.

For the next six or eight weeks, at least on weekdays, I will have little opportunity to be outdoors in the daylight. (Such as it is!) Photography will be a challenge except on weekends!

(Photo: Hampstead Heath on Sunday.)


  1. When you described the darkness and the full library, I was plunged back into my time at UNC, in the old library stacks, when the clock struck 11, this very old man would walk through the stacks ringing a huge, deep-toned bell! It was pretty weird and very wonderful. I think you should get one and do the same!

  2. The season of darkness. One can truly understand why the Yule Log came into being.

  3. That early sunset and late sunrise takes some getting used to especially when you have lived most of your life in higher latitude regions. When I first started working in Chicago, I remember the shock of going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. I was reminded of that last year when I visited London and it was getting dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. Here in Arizona, we still have some light in the sky between 5:45 and 6:00.

  4. I'm already counting the days til the solstice, waiting for the days to start getting longer again and like Sharon, we still have some lingering light til about 6ish.

  5. There's still some light when I leave the office at 5:00, but it's pretty much dark by the time I get home at 6:00. VERY annoying!

    I agree with the bell suggestion - I double-dog dare you to do it!

  6. Elizabeth: I love that image! I bet that "very old man" was ten years older than I am now. :)

    Ms. Moon: Indeed! It makes sense!

    Sharon: Yeah, it's a big change for me too, having grown up in Florida. Even after ten years living in New York, this super-early darkness feels weird!

    Ellen: It won't be long!

    John: They certainly thought so!

    Bug: That IS annoying. I hope you can squeeze your daily walk into your lunch hour!