Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'I was so looking forward to a holiday – until this week'
In The Red Alice-Azania Jarvis
Saturday 02 May 2009
Another month gone and I still haven't sorted out what to do for a summer holiday. I'd promised myself that this year I'd go somewhere exciting; it was just a matter of where – and what I could afford. Or at least it was until this week, when my bathroom decided to collapse.
It's not really one of those things you expect – especially not on a Tuesday morning when you're on the way to work and your mobile rings to inform you of the bad news. And it's certainly not something you budget for. I certainly hadn't. The only sum that's been accumulating in recent weeks is the bit I'd been putting aside for my holiday. Or, as it may henceforth be known, my ex-holiday. I have a nagging feeling that my plumbing emergency will be the only major expenditure I can afford for the next few months.
Of course there's always the possibility that the building agents – they own the shell of the building; I own the flat – cough up. They should, really, since it's their pipe that has caused the problem. As it turns out, my collapsing floor was caused by a long-term leak from the building's central pipe, which meant that all the water – sewage et al – from every one of the dozen or so flats above me has been congregating behind the walls of my bathroom, seeping under the tiles and rotting the floorboards. It's probably worse if you're the poor chap who lives below me, in which case you've had to tolerate your ceiling slowly and mysteriously rotting over the years, following by the incomparable joy of having several years' worth of stale sewage propelling the plaster in great chunks on to your floor. But I'm still feeling hard done by.
The problem is that already I can see the managers of my building making every effort to wheedle their way out of paying. Firstly, the phone call, which I answered with an innocuous "Hello?": I was met by a torrent of urgent hysteria on the other line, from some women in some call centre telling me that if I didn't call a plumber, turn around and leave work to let them in then the problem wouldn't be covered by insurance.
Then there's the fact that they claimed that they had already sent an insurance officer around (without warning) and that I'd been out, so they wouldn't be sending another. I told them that was illegal (I think it is, anyway) and they backed down pretty sharpish. Finally, there's the fact that ever since the floor's repair, they have been mysteriously unavailable. Now I'm not sure what to do. Either they'll get their act together or I'll have to fork out. Whichever happens, this summer's not looking like a fun one.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...
Day In a Page
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000