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Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Well, what I thought was a simple maintenance job turned into a nightmare yesterday. We had workmen due to call from Swansea Housing Association, to check out a plopping hot tank, and to service our gas appliances. Neither got done, as they decided our boiler had to go as a matter of urgency. No problem, I thought, assuming it was just the case of swapping like for like. Well, listen to this.

When the old boiler comes out, it will be replaced by a totally different appliance, a combi boiler, and relocated from the kitchen, to the bathroom airing cupboard. The relocation involves removing a flue and chimney surround in the kitchen, disconnecting pipes and sealing up a hole in the wall. The kitchen will then need repainting.

Then, the tiny hatch in the bathroom will need to be enlarged, as no-one bigger than a four year old could get through it at the moment, and they need to get into the roof space. So our bathroom ceiling will need to be cut. A plasterboard wall will need to be removed in the bathroom, the shower will have to be replaced, and the bathroom retiled and painted.

After that, in the passageway outside the bathroom, some woodwork will need to be removed, some pipes cut and relocated, and the woodwork replaced. All the radiator valves will need to be changed. Oh, and did I mention the fact that a hole will be left in our roof by the removal of the old flue, which will need covering? Or the fact that they will need to make a new hole in the roof to accommodate the flue for the new, relocated boiler?

I'm utterly dreading tomorrow and Friday, as we will have anything up to a dozen workmen in the flat. To some women, I know that would be a dream come true. All I can think of, is a dozen pairs of wet, muddy feet messing up our floors. Plus the fact that I will have to evict hordes of men from the bathroom each time I need a pee. Not to mention concerns that they may not put everything back right, or that our decor may not be restored to an acceptable standard. What joy.

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