Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Free Flowing

Some of you may have noticed my posts are getting a little later than usual. That's partly because of vacation -- I'm just not getting up as early as I normally do -- and vacation in the winter means there's no sunlight to get me out of bed. So, yeah, I've been opening my eyes around 7:30, which is normally when I'd be almost ready to go to work.

Even Olga is getting up later than she normally does. She's usually our vacation alarm clock, but now that she's an old lady she likes a lie-in too.

In other ways, though, we are getting back to normal around here. Olga's dog-walker started back to work yesterday, so her daily exercise is now off my hands, which gives me a bit more freedom. And most important of all -- THE PLUMBERS CAME!

I called British Gas again yesterday morning, pleading my case, and they ensured me once again that the "engineers" would be here to unplug the kitchen drain. This time I answered my phone when they called later, and they got here around lunchtime, and soon everything was draining as usual. YAY!

I must retroactively take back my suspicions about the Russians causing this blockage, because when I saw how the pipes fit together, I realized it couldn't have been their fault. The Russians do connect to the main drains for the house, but they don't connect to this particular pipe. So it looks like it really was us, and the drains guys couldn't even identify what caused the clog. The main thing is, it's gone now.

Let me just say, those guys should be paid a million dollars an hour. It looks like miserable work but they brought sunshine and happiness to my day. Talk about essential workers! I can run the dishwasher! And do laundry! And I did both yesterday and I feel like life is back on track.

Today we have Plumbers, Round 2 -- the Russians are having someone in to fix the leaky radiator pipe that has damaged our dining room ceiling and wall. He allegedly needs access to our flat though I can't imagine why. They can get to the pipe more easily from upstairs. We'll see how that goes.

I spent part of yesterday afternoon reading "The Ink Black Heart," the newest Robert Galbraith mystery. (That's J.K. Rowling, writing under a pen name.) It's good so far but this book is ridiculously huge -- slightly more than 1,000 pages. It's difficult for me to even hold it, and I have fairly big hands. Rowling is a good writer, but come on -- someone needs an editor.

Two nights ago we watched "Everything Everywhere All At Once," which has to be one of the strangest movies I've ever seen. It was comedic in its bizarreness. I can't begin to get into all the details, but the cast was brilliant and Jamie Lee Curtis was a standout as an IRS auditor. I didn't even recognize her. Dave had to tell me who she was. (And then he was incredibly proud that he'd identified an actor before I did, which never happens.)

Last night, we finished "The Serpent," Netflix's miniseries about French serial killer Charles Sobhraj, who murdered his way across Asia in the 1970s. It was terrific. I'm sorry it's over.

(Photo: West Hampstead, last Friday.)


Andrew said...

As a watcher of drain clearing videos on YouTube, maybe your pipe has a 'belly' or just 'poor fall'. As your toilet wasn't a problem, it won't be the usual 'flushable wipes' and as men and of a certain age, it won't be 'white mice'. Watch what oil and fat goes down the sink.

While evil, Charles Sobhraj is quite fascinating.

Rachel Phillips said...

I saw that movie at the cinema and loved it so much I went to see it twice or maybe even three times. Each time I saw it I found something new in it I hadn't seen before. It is bizarre but it has something about it which is quite captivating and it seems to make more sense on every viewing.

Rachel Phillips said...

Oh, and I agree, The Serpent is brilliant. I watched it a while ago.

Moving with Mitchell said...

OK, I take back what I said about The Russians... this time. Glad your pipes are cleared.

The Charles Sobhraj story is so disturbing. I’ve been curious to know if the series was well done or simply salacious. May we'll check it out.

Michael said...

I am glad your plumbing problems are behind you. Working pipes are something we all take for granted. We had a sink in the kitchen that would only spew a tiny trickle. We had plumber after plumber out to fix it. Finally this last one did something (plumbing is not in my area of expertise) and voilĂ ! It has worked for months now.

Ed said...

Every once in awhile our cable company offers free access to certain movie channels for a period of days and I usually take the opportunity to record a bunch of movies to watch later. I probably watch the first 15 minutes of 70% of them and just delete because they don't appeal to me. This is probably why I remember Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once as the IRS auditor but don't remember how it ends. I faintly remember the battle that went on inside the office and some mention of alternate realities. I must have deleted it before finishing.

Karla said...

I agree, all manner of workers have to work in some unbelievably harsh and/or gross conditions. Read a book once where an old plumber was teaching a new one about the "doody factor." They were under a house trailer at the time whose sewage pipe had come undone, and sewage had been spilling out underneath. The young guy was shocked at what the new guy was charging the customer, and the old guy said, "the more doody, the more you can charge because NO ONE else wants to deal with it!" SO true! Love J.K but 1,000 pages? Just no!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Great news about your drainage! By the way, I am referring to the plumbing in your flat and not to your personal biology!

Boud said...

Interesting context: Rowling, murderers, plumbing! I'm glad about the plumbing solution finally.

Bob said...

Dave sounds a little like Carlos in recognizing actors; his pop culture knowledge is slightly above zero.
I have that movie saved on the DVR and am looking forward to seeing it.

Jeanie said...

Everything Everywhere is getting a lot of Oscar buzz. I know zero about it! But well done with getting through Plumber #1. Now, let's hope the Russians' plumbers don't mess anything more!

Sharon said...

Glad to hear that the drains are running normally. One down and one to go. I hope it goes well.
I finished the Amazon series called Night Sky. However, it sort of left me hanging and then I discovered it wasn't renewed for a second season so I guess I'll never know what happens to to all the characters and what planet half of them came from and two of them ended up on. It was a very interesting science fiction story. I just wish it had come to a real end.

Ms. Moon said...

I'm just so glad you got your kitchen back. And you are completely right about essential workers.

Ellen D. said...

Good news about your drains!
Thanks for mentioning the movies you liked - my cable has been out so I have been searching Netflix for things to watch...
Are you ready to go back to work?

Colette said...

I'm happy to hear your kitchen is fully functional once again. How awful that must have been.

NewRobin13 said...

So glad to know that the plumbing problems have been fixed and that all is back to relatively normal there.

Red said...

Clogged drains certainly alter your life for a while. Doesn't it feel great when the water is running again?

Pixie said...

Running water and working drains are marvels of modern civilization, something we don't appreciate until they're gone.
I started to watch that movie but couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll try again. I love Jamie Lee Curtis. Years ago she did a photo shoot and then afterwards did another photo shoot showing us what her body really loooked like without the expensive underware to hold everything in place. She seems genuine in an industry that is not known for being genuine.

The Bug said...

Yay for clear pipes! I tried to check out the new Galbraith audiobook out of the library but it's 33 hours long. THIRTY THREE! I don't think The Goldfinch was even that long. There's no way I can listen to it before it's due back to the library. But I love the narrator. I don't know - I might have to cave & buy it.

Debby said...

Hurrah!!!! Free flowing drains are something to be celebrated. I'd be much curious to find out what a dozen eggs cost you there (continuing on with Ms. Moon's conversation). Ask Dave. Inquiring minds, etc. etc.

37paddington said...

So glad your drains are fixed! Life's little necessities restored. And thanks for the viewing recommendations. I sometimes feel as if I've watched everything on every streaming platform and have nothing left to watch, but I've seen neither of your mentions, so I will look into them.

Kelly said...

Hooray for properly draining pipes!!

I read the first book in that series for my book club and while I enjoyed it, I've not been inclined to keep reading them. Just like her HP books (which I've not read, believe it or not), they seem to get longer and longer with each installment. The woman needs a good editor!

Margaret said...

I'm so glad that the plumbing is fixed! Woo hoo!!I have that book on my Kindle and it is immense. I'm not very motivated to start it.

gz said...

Nice to have a more relaxed start to the day for a while...and hooray for plumbers!!

Debby said...

Well, I'm glad that everything is finally running as it should. When we have problems like this, it is always at a rental, and the problem is the neighbor's lilac bushes. The roots work into the pipes.

Steve Reed said...

Andrew: We're usually careful not to put fat down the drain. I do pour coffee grounds down there, though, and I wondered if that was part of the problem. Sobhraj is truly a psychopath.

Rachel: I can see how it would improve with subsequent viewings. There's so much going on no one could catch everything on the first pass.

Mitchell: It was well-done, but salacious too!

Michael: Very few homeowners can do their own plumbing repairs, so the plumbers have us wrapped around their fingers!

Ed: It sounds like you only saw the beginning of the movie. I can see how it might not appeal to everyone. It's a lot to take in!

Karla: It's true! The "ick factor" dictates that we'll pay almost anything to have someone else solve the problem!

YP: Ha! Fortunately that drainage seems fine.

Boud: Yeah, you get a weird mix of stuff here every day. Such is life!

Bob: A lot of what you've written about Carlos and pop culture reminds me of Dave. I'm sure he couldn't name a Janet Jackson song either!

Jeanie: God forbid. If they break anything more I think we'll move.

Sharon: Yeah, we were also disappointed to find there would be no more in the series! It seemed to come to some sort of an ambiguous ending, but we never find out what happened to the neighbor, for example.

Ms Moon: It's so easy to take such workers for granted. I try to remind myself of that when I get exasperated about the strikes going on over here now. We need ALL these people, and government needs to recalibrate to treat them better.

Ellen D: I am, actually. We go back on Monday, so I have a couple more days of vacation. :)

Colette: TERRIBLE!

Robin: I'm surprised how much it stressed me out, considering it was just one blocked pipe.

Red: It really does. It's such a comfort to have things back to normal.

Pixie: I remember that photo shoot! Wasn't she actually showing her body without the typical Photoshop retouching that magazines do? Anyway, it was a memorable lesson for all of us.

Bug: Can't you renew it if you don't get through it all? Or is that not allowed if it's in demand? I'm curious to know how an audio version of the book would work, because parts of it are written in simultaneous streams of Internet chat-room dialogue.

Debby: I will try to follow up on that! We actually buy them by the half-dozen, which complicates the math a little bit. :)

37P: Yes, check them both out! I think you'd like them. There's tons of stuff on streaming but a lot of it is pretty mediocre.

Kelly: Longer is not necessarily better, right? I only read the first two HP books and that was enough for me. I've read all the Galbraith novels, but this one might put an end to that!

Margaret: It's kind of crazy. Like Bug said above, I think it may be even bigger than "The Goldfinch." (Which, for the record, I loved.)

GZ: Hooray indeed!!!

Debby (again): Roots are a scourge! By the way, your previous comment went to spam, but I found it. :)

River said...

Hooray for working plumbing!