Eleven days in, and moving house continues to be essentially a full time job (I'm pretty much just squeezing maths into whatever cracks I can at the moment). Having told my landlord last Friday that my en suite continued to gradually fill with water, I finally had the plumbers slouch into view yesterday morning.
The initial exchange was not promising. "D'ya have a mop?" they ask. "Yes", I reply, though my internal monologue's response was closer to "You left my bathroom flooded last week and you still didn't think to bring a mop?" I provide them with this apparently desperately rare technological marvel in the interests of a quiet life (and because having spent an hour using it the week before, I'm keen to see someone else apply a little elbow grease). I also give them my bucket, because that only seems polite.
"D'ya not have anything to rinse it out with?" they ask, in disgust.
No. No, I do not. Because - get this - I am not a professional fucking plumber. My available tools are sadly limited. This is probably why you should bring your own kit. I also don't have a monkey wrench, soldier rings, or ten yards of rubber tubing. Or any faith in your abilities.
Still, at least someone had shown up, I thought. Since we were dealing with my en suite, I essentially had the choice of staying in my room for the duration, or staying out of it. I opted for the former, since I still had some Lucifer left to read. This proved a fairly epic mistake, since at some point during a procedure entirely based around stopping clean water from leaking from the toilet (either the cistern or the bowl) my hapless minions managed to break open the sewage pipe. Those of a nature both mischievous and pedantic might point out that this did indeed stop clean water from seeping out onto my floor, since now an apparent raging torrent of sewage was doing it instead. The smell from twelve feet away (i.e. my bed) was appalling. From the wails and gnashing of teeth heard from the room itself, things were far worse at Ground Zero.
I sat there for twenty minutes or so, hoping that if I stared hard enough at my comic it might somehow cause my nose to go into standby, but to no avail. Eventually, just as I was considering dropping my television on my nose and solving the problem that way, the plumbers arrived to tell me they were finished, that the sewage was back inside the pipes where it belonged, and that the leak had been fixed. They also told me they had washed my floor with washing up liquid, since they had no bleach (whether this is more or less idiotic than not having a mop, I cannot decide), and made their exit.
My en suite still smelled pretty badly. There was also now a bucket filled with slightly brown water and apparently the only mop in Durham. I was briefly tempted to get to work scrubbing, but I decided to leave it for a day or two, just in case this most pernicious of leaks returned.
Needless to say, it has. I could have carved my own toilet by now.