So I was sitting in front of the computer writing, it was around 8 PM. Everyone had left, plumbers, painters, parachutists, parrots, and probes, when out of nowhere I suddenly heard a whooshing sound. I noted that it came from the bathroom, so I got up quicksmart and sprinted toward the sound like a soldier running into battle to confront the enemy. And there it was, the flexible pipe from the boiler to the fixed pipe on the wall swinging like an out-of-control fireman’s hose and spurting water all over the bathroom. I grabbed it, a slippery, non-compliant snake, hot breath, and impossible to contain. I let go and ran to the front of The Archive as more and more water spilt onto the bathroom floor. I knew the main stopcock was there, I turned it and the water ceased to flow, but the floor was flooded.
I called Olivia in Germany because she had Filipe the plumber’s number, luckily she answered and she called him and luckily he answered too. I took a photo, Filipe said he’d be here in 20 minutes — and he was. Spanners loaded and at the ready, he couldn’t believe it had happened, he’d done such a great job. In the end, all he could think of was that he forgot to tighten the connection properly. If it had happened a day and a half later, I would have been asleep, I wouldn’t have known and the place would have flooded and the new backroom floor would have been ruined, a true disaster averted.
Brad the builder arrived with all the flooring for tomorrow’s work, dropped it off and left again, Suze and Mafalda painted and painted and painted and painted and I did my best to get things done through all the hoo-ha. It’s not easy to listen, concentrate, write, get in a flow with all this going on, and then with the explosion in the bathroom and the clearing it all up, it took more hours out of the day.
At 6 PM I had a sesh with Mike in Chicago and at 10 PM a meeting with Stephen at Schoolkids Records in North Carolina – Olivia joined from Germany, and then a chat with Sarah in Texas. Soon the whole day was gone and I had to be up at 9 AM for the floor to be laid. I finally got to bed at 4.30, I would have slept a full four and a half hours, but there was a mosquito that I couldn’t see but could hear by my ear with lights out, that sickening high-pitched squeal. All I could think to do was to try and fall asleep with an incense stick near the bed, it seemed to work, the mosquito was foiled, but it was all too late.