Plumbing is a drip-drip affair

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The Independent Online

OK, enough with the wedding and the broadband. I'm currently sat (with hat) at the former (or, if not, then at least on the train there) and the latter has been momentarily put on hold for various reasons. Chiefly, that I've had other concerns.

In a spectacular bit of good timing, my bathroom ceiling has decided to crumble. The flat upstairs, it turns out, had developed a leak. Under other circumstances? No problem. But – as some of you might recall – my flat is on the market.

Or it was. The plumber who came to investigate responded by ripping out part of the window frame, so I had little choice but to take it off. No one wants to buy a flat without window frames.

Plugging the leak was easy enough, I suppose. It's everything else that's a bore. First, I had to wait two weeks for the ceiling to dry out. Only then could a plumber – any plumber – come round for a proper inspection. Fortnight gone, said practitioner came round. Measurements were taken, tea was made, and off he went to draw up a quote.

(A red herring, but while we're on the subject: I love it when plumbers come round. Or builders. Anyone, really, that I can fuss over and serve biscuits to while murmuring sagely in response to observations about tile width and ceiling height.)

But of course, in Situations Such As These, things are never so straightforward. Before long, the insurers had informed the brokers, who informed the management, who informed me that, contrary to my initial assumption, it was not one quote but two that I needed. So another plumber was tracked down and asked to estimate. And then his quote was dispatched. After repeated calls asking him to get a wiggle on.

So now it hangs with the insurers. They'll pay, of course, but before I can proceed, I need the go-ahead – via the proper channel of the brokers who'll tell the managers who'll tell me. So, you know. Should be done sometime next decade.