So, it was supposed to be a nice easy day, nothing planned, and Dave had an early doctor’s appointment for his sore foot, so he could even drop Henry at nursery school. (Dave is not part of the badness of the day, don’t worry.)
Hmmm, let me try and remember what order these things happened in:
1. There was a wet bed, (whose bed is a secret,) so there would be a couple loads extra of laundry. No biggie, though the machine was on it’s last legs, and I’d been keeping an eye on eBay for a replacement. (Got a small freezer recently for £32, and it’s perfect!)
2. The washing machine poured large amounts of white smoke into the kitchen. I turned it off, and all the electric things off, and opened the windows, at which point there seemed to be a significant increase in the amount of smoke. I was afraid it was going to catch fire, and stood there like a panicked fool trying to plan what I would do. Would wet towels be a mistake, if all the power was off? And where the heck would I put them, anyway? The thing lives under a counter, jammed in between the sink and the dishwasher, and the smoke was coming from the back of it somewhere. Anyway, so, there was no fire.
3. My friend texted to say she was throwing up, and could I pick her kid up (with mine) from nursery? Her husband’s also working late tonight, though that wasn’t yet significant.
4. My other friend, who is 91, phoned to say she’s been sitting in the cold for 2 days, (it’s been snowing,) without hot water or central heating, and is having a new boiler fitted tomorrow. Could I please drop round my key to hers, today, for the plumber?
Hmmmm, okay, so I did those, but in between that and all the normal (crazy) day stuff I was looking on the internet for a washing machine, and finally about 5 bit the bullet and ordered one (and a tumble dryer- hello luxury!) It’s coming Friday, and I paid extra for installation, but you have to have disconnected your old one entirely before they arrive. So here I am, with Dave away in Cornwall for the night, (and he is going to be late home tomorrow night too, and we also have to take the door off to the stupid little side room where the fridge used to be, to get the new (front-opening) freezer in there so these delivery guys can put the tumble dryer on top of it. (You can do that, right? I was intending to have it fixed to the wall, a little higher up, but not yet.)) and I figure, I have a few minutes to kill before the kids’ bedtime, so I’ll just phone my father-in-law and find out whether I’m supposed to undo the tube-things at the machine end or the wall end. He’s away, but I’m chatting to Linda, my mother-in-law, and I just try (one-handed) to unscrew a thing that looks like it’s made to be unscrewed and
5. it comes off in my damn hand. And a nice little spout of water shoots out about 2 feet towards me, and starts making a big puddle. Fast.
6. Then my brain turned completely off, as it does. I grabbed buckets and sent Henry (who was awesome throughout) running for towels, and started trying to keep it a bit under control, but that didn’t leave much time for figuring out how to turn the water off. Or who to call. I had hung up rather abruptly on Linda, and so I’m making these crazy phone calls to my local friends, but nobody’s answering, and their husbands aren’t going to be home yet anyway. I got my friend Kev, who is brilliant and sensible, but lives a half-hour away and has a ten-day-old son, so I really didn’t want to hassle him. Funny conversation, as I kept having to put the phone down to empty buckets. He found me a plumber, and sent him my way, and in the 10 minutes before he got here I managed to raise the neighbours-but-one, the second lot I’d tried- can you picture me running out of the house in my sodden slippers, ever so glad it’s stopped snowing, ringing their doorbell and rushing back into my house because the bucket’s already overflowing, then running back out to find them standing in their doorway looking puzzled, and just shouting, something about “please help me, my kitchen is flooding!” And running back in. And all this while Henry’s under strict instructions not to lock me out and not to let Lauren out the door!
I am so damn lucky that my phone didn’t die in my wet hands.
So, where are we? The neighbour came in and took over the bucketing, so I could pick Lauren up, (poor kid had not stopped crying since it started, and I just kept running past her,) and clear my head enough to figure out where to turn the water off. (It was a thing I’d looked at earlier, and been too nervous to try- I could not deal with flooding the garage as well!) Aaaah, wonderful water off! Lauren had plenty to say about that, too.
And then Kev’s excellent mate came, and laughed at me for offering him a cup of tea when I had no water. He was brilliant, the kids loved him, he totally replaced the dodgy part that had caused all the trouble, (yep, he reassured me that it was all the dodgy part’s fault, not my own- I loved him a little bit, too.)
And all is well. The kids went to bed without much hassle, and less than 2 hours late. The kitchen is dry enough and ready for the deliverymen on Friday. I have had a nice cup of tea, and texted everyone that I alarmed. Can’t be bothered to proof-read this again- I know I changed tenses somewhere in the middle. That must have been the point where it all got too much. I hope it makes sense. I’m going to bed; this day’s done.