Part 1 – What the heck happened?
The weekend just gone was a bit of a disaster if I’m honest.
After a wonderful Thursday evening spent in a Yorkshire hospital awaiting the arrival of mine and Joe’s niece, Friday morning was a bit of a blur due to the distraction of the cute new addition to the family, as well as a few yawns (it was a late night and we had to travel back to Manchester at about 2am for work the next day).
The plan was to head back in the evening to see the baby again. Sod the sleep. We wanted a cuddle!
Unfortunately, Joe came home from work Friday afternoon, earlier than me as normal, to find that his feet were wet upon entering the house. Uh-oh.
After splish-splashing across the hallway and into the kitchen, water could be heard “pissing everywhere” as Joe so eloquently puts it. Panicking, thinking we had a burst water pipe (which would have been such an almight catastrophe I can’t bear to think about it) thankfully this wasn’t the case.
However, we did have a situation whereby a plastic attachment had come loose under the sink, essentially like leaving a tap on underneath the sink – by the amount it has spread, it’s safe to assume this was the case for a number of hours.
So, where does this leave us?
I think in many ways we’re back to square one when it comes to the downstairs.
By the time I got home from work, Joe had mopped up the majority of water from the kitchen and he had started ripping out the lino from the kitchen floor. (Let’s be honest, it wasn’t the sexiest looking flooring I’ve ever seen…) As lino is pretty impermeable, the water just sat on top, spreading through to the hallway and lounge. We’ve got some skirting boards and wall damage, up to about 3 inches. It could be worse and I do feel terrible whinging about this kind of thing when some people in Britain endure floods up to their knees, but this for us, was truly heartbreaking.
Here are a few pictures taken from the iPhone. Sure, the quality is poor, but I didn’t feel it was the most appropriate time to say: “Hey Joe, Can you stop mopping up for a second and grab me the camera?”
I got home, and straight away, it was a case of disaster recovery. We took everything out of the kitchen and into the garden. Rugs and mats were laid on the grass to dry, and anything we could grab quick enough was put on the garden table. Lino was thrown outside ready to be bagged up for the tip. As you may know, many of our items have been stored away in cardboard boxes over the past 2 years, awaiting that glorious moment when we renovate the kitchen. Sadly, this was all completely soaked, and many electrical items that we had been saving – the slow cooker, our blender, toastie machine – went into the bin.
Even the little things felt like a huge loss. We recently bought about 25 packets of kitchen rolls in bulk from Cost-Co. We use these a lot, and always looking for ways to save money, we bought it on sale last week. Guess where they were stored? Yup. The kitchen pantry. All rolls were completely dripping. Oh well, at least we knew they were super absorbent! In the bin they went…
After chucking the majority of our kitchen, of what little kitchen we had, we put everything else outside on the lawn to dry. Cookie cutters. Shopping bags. Anything we could salvage (I’m not letting go of my dinosaur cookie cutters that easy!!)
We did still go and visit our beautiful new niece, and arrived home at about midnight, so there was a glimmer of greatness for our Friday night. Until we got home…
Upon arriving back in Manchester, hoping for an early night, little did we realise that the damage had hit the lounge harder than we first thought. I got down on my hands and knees, with all the towels I could physically get my hands on, and started attacking the lake that used to be our lounge.
The flooding had reached further than we originally thought. Moving into emergency mode (code red, Joe, CODE RED!) we huddled to the floor to rip out the carpet. We’d read that carpet can be salvaged provided it is dried quickly (and given a deep clean at a later date) but the underlay was acting as a sponge and spreading the moisture. It had to go…
The door had to come off in the lounge so we could get access to the floor. Into the outhouse it went. We removed our bookcase from this side of the room including all of the DVDs (I’m going to have to re-alphabetise!) and the TV set up was moved to the couch.
Whilst rinsing out our carpet, I did take a moment to look around me and had a bit of a good cry.
I’m not going to dwell on the negatives from here on, but it was just a moment of pure gutted-ness – probably not even a word.
The lounge, which is one of the only rooms we’ve managed to get to a decent standard for guests, was suddenly back to square one. Yes, these things are all replaceable. They’re just things after all. No-one got hurt and it wasn’t a major leak. But to Joe and I, it’s all the hard work gone to waste. All the waiting. All being swept away in the space of one afternoon.
This house is our baby. It’s our project. It’s our life. It’s the one thing stopping us from getting new pets. From starting a family. From taking holidays. And in that moment of weakness, I felt sad for our home looking in such a sorry state. I felt sorry for myself lay on the floor, soaking up as much water as I could. And I felt sorry for Joe after all the hard graft he always puts into making our house a home every single day.
Once we had run out of towels (and I couldn’t even wash them thanks to all of our washing powder absorbing the water, and quite frankly, I was hesitant to turn the water back on in the house) we accepted defeat for the day and headed to bed.
With another early morning thanks to Joe’s MOT on Saturday, we knew there was again, little sleep to be had. The real work started the next day…
To be continued tomorrow in Part 2 – The Aftermath.