Last Monday I got back from my holiday. Despite 30 hours of travelling and sleep snatched in 15minute bursts, totalling about 3 hours, I was wide awake when I arrived home. I didn’t consider sleeping until 2.30am when I got into bed to hear the sound of my toilet overflow dripping in quite an enthusiastic way.
It had been like this before I went on holiday. For a few weeks before I went, in fact. I’d decided to leave it until I got back before I got someone in to fix it. I don’t know why – I can only assume that my sleep deprived brain decided that as I had conquered scuba diving I clearly had water based super powers – but at 2.30am I decided I could fix the toilet and stop that slightly irritating dripping sound.
At 4am I realised I was a complete idiot with no clue about plumbing and that any super powers I might have had been left in the Philippines. The dripping was now more of a pouring and the water tank in the loft, just above my head, was constantly refilling. I went to bed with ear plugs in and my pillow over my head. At 7am I called my lovely fixer man to inform him I’d broken the toilet.
Lovely fixer man arrived about 9am, decided that half of the inside of my toilet needed replacing and set about the job. Meanwhile, I made us both a coffee, managed to pour mine (newly made and black, so pretty much boiling) down my jeans. I screamed, stripped in the kitchen and terrified the life out of fixer man when he ran in to see what had happened to find me in my knickers and tshirt….
Anyway, eventually we both got over the embarrassment, fixer man fixed, left and I flushed the toilet again, just to hear the silence of no drippy bits. At that point, it broke again – this time, the other side. Now it wouldn’t stop flushing unless I fiddled with the broken bit.
I called the fixer man back, but I must have scared him more than I thought as he didn’t reply until the evening. As it was way past working hours I asked him how to fix it myself (I thought the super powers may have just had a bit of jet lag and could have woken up by now). I was given instructions of which bit to remove, told which bit to move up and down to get rid of the lime scale that had probably got lodged into it after the work in the morning and set about my task.
Please remember at this point I’d had about 6 hours sleep in the last 45 or so. That is why, I think, I didn’t just more the bit up and down, I moved it round and round. And promptly snapped a part of it off. I realised it was quite a key part, but that was ok, because I had superglue…
It turns out superglue and sleep deprivation are not a good combination. 10 minutes later I’d superglued my had to the toilet part. The bit I needed to stick to it was looking at me from the draining board. I suspect it would have laughed, had it not been a small bit of plastic. Luckily, I’d used so much superglue that I managed to chip my hands from the bit of toilet with a knife and try out a friends suggestion from when I’d superglued kitchen roll to my hands a few months back, that nail varnish removes it. (It does – but you need industrial quantities of the stuff when dealing with most of a tube).
Anyway, I managed to superglue the broken bit on and put the thingy back in the toilet and….I’d made no difference whatsoever.
The next day I called the fixer man back to plead for more help. It turned out he’d been asking at his local suppliers for a new thingy, but they didn’t stock them anymore. I would probably need an entirely new cistern. I wasn’t keen on this (and neither was he – I’m not sure if that was due to the fact I have a teeny bathroom with one of those hidden cisterns, or if it was the thought of me in my knickers), so I went on the internet. I found what may or may not have been the right part and ordered it. On Saturday it arrived, I fitted it and….you’ll never guess what…I actually fixed it! My toilet is now working perfectly and I’m considering plumbing as a profession.
So maybe I do have water based super powers after all. Or maybe if you just keep on breaking things until you have to replace them all, at some point something has got to work out ok :o)