GRARGH

I just spent a joyous half-hour waiting outside my close door with a big bag of shopping, because apparently the lock got repaired last week and so people have been locking it, but I don't have a sodding key.

As there is a chemists in the building, which has a side door into the close, I went in and asked. Counter-lady said they had three or four people in yesterday with the same problem, including a letting agent. Chemist-lady gave me the factor's number and said they couldn't let me in. I called the factor, and left my number for the right woman to call me back when she came back from her tea break.

In the meantime, I poked at the entry system, which may or may not work to buzz people but doesn't seem to work as an intercom.

Factor-lady called back, said they hadn't told the chemist not to let anyone in, said they don't actually have a master key, said to get in touch with my landlord.

I know from a previous incident that my landlord doesn't have a key.

I went back into the chemist. No joy.

Called landlord-dad, blethered out the whole problem, then realised, that's no good, he'll get all complicated and 'oh but they can't do that because this' so I firmly checked if he had a key then told him I would handle it.

Then chemist-lady took pity and let me in, and I was very grateful, and she said it was only this once, and I agreed and thanked her and all that. I think the thing about not letting me in came either from head office or from manager or was in fact her idea because, yes, letting random people in is not really on. Still. Argh.

Landlord-dad called back asking, is the chemist not open? can they not let you in? Which, I did tell him the whole thing but apparently he only caught about a third of it.

I put a note on the door asking people not to lock it and put it on the snib, and I will be going round the neighbours later to find someone with a key that I can get copied.

What a pain in the arse. I mean, it'll be nice to have a close that can't get used by the odd junkie and/or pisshead, but I don't know what the postie's going to do. Maybe the chemist will let him in.

ETA: Also, first time I went in the chemist, I was the only customer there. Counter-lady told chemist-lady "there's a woman blah blah blah" and when chemist-lady came out, she looked at me dubiously, looked around, looked at her colleague, looked at me again, looked at her colleague again, then finally came to talk to me. It's not like I've got a crewcut any more... but maybe I look too young for "woman". Eh.
Weird day. Well, evening, rather.

Crappy day, because my digestive system has gone a bit haywire. I got myself together enough to go to the shop and get some lemonade, crackers and paracetamol, and at the checkout the woman asked if I was all right and if I would like a glass of water - I think she thought I had a sore throat or something, but I was just talking like I felt utterly pathetic and hadn't actually used my voice yet.

About ten minutes ago, someone knocked at my door, moving up from fumbling at the letterbox to banging by the time I got jeans on and went to answer. Drunk old guy, leaning on the door, asking for Julie, then Shona, and I said, "no, just me," and immediately regretted it, but he sort of stumbled away. I think he tried another door, but I'm pretty sure I can still hear him out on the stairs, and I think he puked. I'm not going to go investigate. (Also, I never replaced the chain on my door which was broken before I moved in. Probably I should do that.)

And I just got a phone call, from one of the guys who delivered my carpets over a year ago, with whom I exchanged a couple of texts at the time, having given him my number because I was flattered and attempting to be "more outgoing" etcetera. Wound up hanging up on him, which I think was the most efficient way of dealing with the situation.

Oh crap, drunk guy's back at my door.

ETA: ignored it, he gave up pretty fast and I heard movement, but I think he's still out there. Also, my phone just rang again - ignored that too.

Nothing like either of these things has happened to me... pretty much ever, actually. And here I am, with both of them, at once, after a day spent feeling sorry for myself with more justification than usual.

ETAA: drunk guy tried again and I answered, to see blood on his face. I asked if he was all right, and if he was sure he was in the right place, and closed the door on him again, and I just heard the main door go bang, so he's gone. I can hear someone talking to him outside, actually - well, I assume it's him, since, "you all right?" is a major component. Maybe I should have done more, but he didn't seem seriously hurt (if he had I'd have called an ambulance) and I don't like strangers in my house and considering I live alone, not letting in a drunk guy seems perfectly reasonable. So there.
Cleanness! I have washed all my dishes, and the towels I was using, and just finished bleaching the hell out of the bathroom, and once the floor dries I'm going to have a shower for the first time in nearly a week and then probably change the sheets on my bed, and I can has clean!

The toilet problem was rectified late Thursday morning, mostly by nature, and then that day I had lots of dripping from the ceiling and that evening the fuse for my lights blew, and it still isn't fixed because I don't have fuse wire, but I do have lamps and candles, so, whatever. Friday I was mostly catching up on sleep, though I washed some towels and went to the shops. Today is cleeeeeeeeeeeeean.

Apparently my neighbours have no water, which sucks for them, but mine is OK so far.

Dad says the meeting of owners to try and organise something is not going to happen until January at the earliest, but he's getting a plumber to come some time soon and take a look and see if there's anything that will work as a temporary fix.

Isn't it odd how my dream house started off with spiral staircases and window-seats, and now has decent wiring and modern plumbing?

ETA: Argh. Cannot shower because it will not go warm. Suspect the thermostat is tied to the fuse that's blown.

Oh! Dad called as I was writing this and he's coming over to fix the fuse, so if that is what's wrong I will be able to shower and even if not, I will have lights.

ETAA: Have lights! Dad thinks shower problem related to low water pressure, possibly related to big-ass leak downstairs, so, wait and see. Ho-hum. Food time now.
My internet was broken last night, which was horrible, and this morning my toilet is flooded, so I have other people's piss all over my bathroom, which is disgusting.

I had a nice little story about being awake at half-three and hearing something odd and finding it was my toilet burping, and I went out and melted and got quite an impressive jet of water, and... I just heard it go again, goddammit, I've already taken one bucket of piss out to the drain in the street and I don't want to take another, but I may have to if I can't melt through soon.

I want to bleach the entire world right now. Including my feet. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

5:20 p.m. ETA: I have taken out several buckets of piss-water. I have been up and down with the blow-torch all day and have melted, I believe, two feet of ice-blocked-pipe. This has not been enough. My bathroom stinks, my kitchen sink is now not draining at all, the hoped-for-thaw might not happen tomorrow if the trend in predicted temp continues, at one point water was dripping through my bathroom ceiling... ARGH. I will probably just not sleep tonight, though I may give up on the blowtorch soon because it is not lasting long. Still, at least I set up a shoebox to prop it so I'm not breaking my back bending over any more. If this is not fixed before the next freeze then dad can bloody well come look after the place, I've had enough.

6:40 p.m. ETA: I am done, I am through, I have had it. The blowtorch was only lasting five minutes, so it's retired for the night. The folk upstairs (who apparently only moved in today - oops!) know about it, the flat above them appears to be empty (all their windows are open, which to me implies there is nobody there, given that it's supposedly -7 Celsius. I wrung out the towels (ooh, me aching back! ooh, me reddened fingers!) and took out a final bucket, and if I have to empty any more tonight they're going out the damn window, as that's where it ends up anyway with the pipes as they are. I am going to wait until I can't smell piss any more, and then I might have dinner. Maybe I'll just open the vodka.
Oh dear, it looks like I cannot see my psychoanalyst man because the buses are off. I am terribly disappointed.

I had to walk home yesterday, because I went to Key even though it was snowing and half-an-hour later was told, "go quick, the buses are going off." So I wound up walking. It was OK, only two miles or so, but I was pretty wet by the time I got in.

And my shower has started burping again, so I was outside melting ice off the pipe, and the one for the toilet, but I had to come in because the blowtorch doesn't really like the cold and it was getting a bit feeble. But it's sitting on a radiator and I'll be out again in a bit.

I feel sorry for the postie, he's out as usual. Brr.

ETA: oh for the love of god my FEET! my choice is between my old boots which I just realised are coming away from the soles, and my new boots which are not worn in yet and with thick socks make my feet cramp. I am rubbing them now. Ow.
My plumbing-related trials and tribulations continue...

You may recall that at the beginning of the year, my bathroom was flooding every time the people upstairs used water, because the down-pipe was frozen, and it got worse when the toilets' down-pipe followed suit. Once the weather improved, it stopped, and I put it out of my mind, and never actually pushed for anything to be done.

Now, as it happens, the council wrote to the assorted landlords a couple of weeks ago to say the broken down-pipes are a hygiene issue and Must Be Fixed Soon. So discussions started happening.

Well, it started snowing early Saturday morning. On Sunday, I woke up at 7:15 a.m. (yuck!) to the sound of a familiar glug-glug-glug which heralded, yes, another bathroom flood. I dealt with the water; I wrapped up and went outside with the blow-torch, and melted the ice off the down-pipe, as far up as I could reach; success! water trickling down the outside of the pipe and draining from my system.

I sent messages that day and Monday, then dad (who is my landlord) called, because he'd only got the last message. I was under the impression that the council-related plumbing was only the toilets' down-pipe, and had asked if it could be extended to the other pipe, but apparently they are talking about replacing all the pipes, which frankly should have been done years ago if not, y'know, sometime this year before it all froze again. And I told him, hey, there's a big crack, which I'd noticed while melting ice, and he said, yeah, I know. He must have known about it since January. If this was any other landlord, dad would be outraged at him not fixing a problem he'd known about for ten months: but the landlord is himself so it's fine. Argh.

Anyway, yesterday, it was icing up again, so I was out in the afternoon melting more ice. Then today, I went out in the morning and saw it was considerably iced further up - basically outside my flat. I was running late, so I just went. Got home to find that there had been a small flood in my bathroom, and my heating had mysteriously switched itself off, which may in fact be part of the reason the pipe is so badly iced up - no heat from mine. Still, I switched it back on, I went out with the blowtorch... and my lighter didn't work. I came back up, searched for matches, eventually took a candle, switched on my gas hob, lit the candle, went out, turned on the gas to light the blowtorch... and it blew the candle out. Back up, light the hob, light the candle, light the blowtorch, go out, and it lasted about five minutes before it gave up. Back up, set the blowtorch on the radiator to get warm, test the lighter to find it was working, having warmed up some. Lean out the bathroom window and inspect the pipe out there, which has at least a centimetre of ice surrounding it. Wait. Go out with blowtorch and lighter, melt ice off the down-pipe as high as I can reach, except for the bit that's the direct drain from my downstairs neighbour because it's thick with ice and the blowtorch is getting a bit feeble. Kick away the ice that's forming on the toilets' down-pipe. Look at the icicles further up, and think, if I had a stick... Look for stick, but do not find. Back up to flat, and have sudden brainwave - the curtain pole that I bought months ago but haven't put up out of sheer laziness! Get it out of packaging and go outside again - can only reach the lowest icicle, not the ones from the drain right out of my bathroom. Inside. Stand on the toilet and hang out the bathroom window again, this time with the pole, and with a whack! and a thwack! the icicles fall.

And now I'm warming up again.
I have been actually nocturnal for the last few days. This is bad. I am feeling... weird. I have been reading lots of fic for a film I haven't actually seen, which isn't that unusual for me.

Stupid psychiatrist man is off on holiday. It doesn't feel like seeing him is helpful but then I am not very good at being self-aware. Usually I have to look at my actions and then say, oh, right. So the current nocturnal behaviour could be to do with not seeing him, or lack of direction at Key, or because I've been thinking I really ought to Do Something which obviously makes me curl up in horror, or something else that I haven't thought of yet.

Finally got my back window replaced last week, which was good but did involve having guys in my house for half the day, which was stressful, and then I fell asleep in my jeans and missed my pottery class. Agh.

Stuff, stuff, stuff, right now I am swithering about spending money on a concert ticket, it is actually pretty standard money for a big show but that is more than I want to spend on a night out. Grr.

I did actually lie down and try sleeping a few hours ago but obviously I did not try very much. Yesterday I went to bed around eight a.m. and woke up about six p.m. which is Not Good and also I will have to be out on Thursday for Key - actually I missed it on Monday because I was sleeping all day, and obv the stupid sleep patterns and lack of motivation and freaking boredom is why I am posting for once, maybe I will try and post a little more often than once in a blue moon, but then again maybe not, I never really have anything to say, and I keep meaning to write but then I get all worried about it and I even bought alcohol to aid the writing process but I wound up just drinking it because I couldn't be arsed making up some diluting juice. Feh. Bored, bored, bored. Stupid brain.

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kbk

June 2012

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