Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The hysterical hole

The hysterical hole was in the floor (not 'Perishers' style in the roof- but water was still coming through it). I have been charging admission to look at it. Well, I should have been as I could have made good money with the stream of visitors swallowed into its maw...

After dinner (TEA -as of this afternoon)on Saturday night (at which we had entertained our dentist and kids with green Thai pipi soup (with pipis AKA clams, not pipi as I believe you only get that in best Michelin starred establishments. We're not in that class) Pork laced with sage and mango, with salsify and parsnips, and chocolate based pecan-nut pie.) I entered the small room of the porcelain throne of much-musing to make it physically possible to lie down without too much groaning, and was greeted by the cheery sound of spraying water. Now usually this noise does not come -in this particular room, or anywhere else, from UNDER the floor.

In the next hour or so I learned a number of valuable things which, being a generous soul I shall pass on, free, gratis and for nothing. 1)Gate-valves long unused become gate valves long unusable. 2)The dark and long grass can hide holes for the unwary. 3)When building your dream house... make sure there IS a way underneath it to the plumbing (no there isn't here. I spent some time crawling around the crawlspace in the dark. It goes under the new half of the house, not the old half, where the loo-plumbing resides. 4)try to choose warm summer nights for your attempts to disconnect pipes. Cold showers are never much fun, but in the salubrious zephyrs of Flinders Island in midwinter, being wet to the skin is guaranteed to send impure thoughts into hibernation for months, besides making teeth into castanet equivalents.

I did find a tap, finally to turn off... it was 200 yards from the house, in the laneway-paddock.

Which is why the next day we ended up sans a throne for the day, and the next with a builder and a hole in the floor (as the alternative would be the wall, and honestly I was not keen on cutting holes in either. Not my wall or floor.)

The leak - a result of 50 year old connections and the increase in pressure with the new pump - was quick enough to fix. unfortunately the floor had to wait to the next day.

I only fell into it once during the night, which is pretty good really.

Through all of this I have been wrestling with Stardogs - getting it up on Smashwords (which means Barnes and Ignoble, Apple and Kobo etc. My word. They want to make it a challenge for people like me. I'm busy with the print version with Createspace. If I go mad and gnow my own leg off, you know it was all for you paper readers...

This afternoon we're going to become Australian citizens. I am practicing the national anthem as I type, and an influx of despairing, fleeing seagulls are already reaching New Zealand. Everyone has been so kind explaining it to us. I quite understand the bit about stripping off all your clothes to rid yourself of old evil influences... but do we really need to wear our new undies on our heads for three weeks to protect ourselves from drop-bears, until we smell real Australians and are safe? I've had pointy hat on for 4 years. Couldn't I just go on with that?

Seriously: Be happy with us, please.


  1. Congratulations on the Aussiehood, much sympathy for the plumbing. Look, it used to be undies on your head for six weeks, but people today are soft and can't take it like they used to alas (and drop bears have largely died out due to habitat destruction so it's not the big deal it used to be). But the stripping off of your garments is still required I believe, just look at our PM who does it at every opportunity despite not needing to and numerous requests by all and sundry to please stop. Please!

  2. At least it was a pipe you knew about (more or less). In France we had a pipe burst in our driveway that we had no idea was there (and nor did anyone else). Nor did anyone have any idea where a stop cock for it might be etc etc. That was fun.

    Congrats on becoming fair dinkum Aussies - I understand you & your wife are now required to answer to Bruce & Sheila respectively.

    1. I tried that when i went to bed last night. Sheila was not amused :-)

  3. Congratulations. Sounds like you at least have had a ritual baptism.

    I have been rereading 'Soot and Cassandra'. A delightful story. Thank you.

  4. Congratulations to both of you! I look forward to many more, er, mishaps and hijinks told here of your settling in Oz.

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