There is still snow this morning. Only a couple of inches, but it is quite eerily beautiful, and I’d forgotten how quiet the world is when it’s blanketed in white. For the first Friday night in memory, for instance, I was not disturbed by any shouting from the high flats at all.
The water’s still off, too. Ah, karma-tastic – if I had stayed awake on Thursday evening, I would have a clean flat right now, but noooo; I have a dirty flat and I can’t clean it. Can’t shower. Can’t flush the loo. Mind you, if I had cleaned the flat on Thursday, I might well have been wiped out and not have made it to the gig last night. Swings and roundabouts.
And here’s a swing – or is it a roundabout? – on Thursday, I had put a load of winebottles in hot water, to soak the labels off, and not taken them out again. So I have five bottles full of water, and a basin full of the same. Woo! I am actually slightly… rewarded for my slovenliness, go figure. Means I don’t have to try and flush the loo with lemonade, at least! (Seriously, could you imagine the potential for sticky, carbonated chaos? And here’s me without anything to mop up properly with!)
Still hate the sight of the mess, however. Even if it is just some crumbs and a small pile of plates.
So I went out into the snow to clear out my slot in the communal greenhouse at the Allotments, which apparently has to be done by December, and it’s dark in the evenings and I work during the week, so what better time? Even better, I had a brainwave and took all the empty demijohns with me. Cursing the fact that they are empty, I was – if I was only slightly more paranoid, they’d all be full of water when not being used to make wine (I have a feeling that this level of paranoia will feature prominently in the near future). However, there are Taps at the allotment, and let us not forget that both my upstairs and downstairs neighbours are rather elderly and might need water too!
Yes. ‘It is a burst main down the street’, said the old man downstairs, who has been very happy to see me, ever since I stopped them blowing up the whole building that time. (I have been happy to see him back, and I have never mentioned it, bwahahaha). ‘They say they are working on it as fast as they can.’
I will bring you some water, I promised, waving the demijohns. Oh bless you, he replied. Great. I really have to find some, now.
The taps at the allotments are all frozen solid, of course, if not actively turned off for the winter. Well, duh. Even the stuff in the greenhouse was frozen solid, though for some reason I appear to have a last crop of tomatillos, even though I haven’t been near the place for months. Still, I barrowed everything out, swept it down and had a wee smoke while admiring the stillness and snowy scenery. Then I realised that time was ticking away and if LIDL was even open, there would probably be fisticuffs in the carpark over the last remaining bottles already. And I promised. Run!
Ooh and I had forgotten to call my Chestnut-haired Old Mother and let her know I had not been blown up during the night! I was just reaching for my phone, when it rang and it was she. She has no heating at the moment, due to her flue being condemned. And Beer has no electricity at the moment due to getting a new boiler which keeps tripping the fuse-box. Fan-bloody-tastic bunch we are.
No fighting outside LIDL. No fighting inside LIDL. Hmm. There was, however, a large hole in the road with a large pipe gurgling away at the bottom of it, and a manhole cover further up the hill spewing out what I suspect should be inside the pipe. No sign of anyone ‘working on it as fast as possible’, however. Crap. We’re gonna be waterless for the entire weekend, I can just see it. How will I shower for work? I feel horrible already, and I have a house-warming to attend tonight!
Of course, by the time I had carted half my bodyweight of water down the road, I was even more minging. Right. I am locking the door and not coming out till I’m clean. I parked two bottles of water on each doorstep in the close (the most pathetic of token gestures; that’ll flush each loo, what, twice? But it’s all I could carry!), realised I had miscalculated and had none over for me, took the bins out, went to bleach out the bin and realised that if any ick touched me, I could not wash it off, gave up and opened a bottle of cheap knock-off Irish Cream. With it, I toasted the Powers That Be, who have at least not struck me with lightning today (though it’s not even lunchtime, anything could happen) gave thanks that I am at least alive, if Unwashed, and have electricity and heat, and called my Colleague of Skull Scarves for a whinge. Ah, bliss, a colleague I can whinge to on weekends!
I have my washing machine on right now, said my Colleague of Skull Scarves. Ooh, the envy. I dislike housework, though it is nice to be in a clean flat, but I would give a great deal to be able to do some right now! Fine. Equations are a higher priority than the housework I can’t actually do (is someone Up There trying to make a point or something?) Boo-yah, I have defeated the bending moment of uniformly distributed loads!
And, by tea-time, the bottle of fake Irish Cream was also defeated. What the hell, all bets are off for today. Still nothing coming out of the taps, so I ordered up a massive load of bottled water from ASDA, plus a second giant brewing vat (new rule: no empty demijohns!) At least tomorrow, if things continue, there will be something for everyone in the building, and I can rinse my hair out. In cold water. Shudder.
But for tonight, I am not trekking through several miles of snow, in what the beeb say will be minus seven Celsius, with a backpack of booze, to sit around feeling miserably self-conscious about how bad I probably smell. I know, it’s antisocial not to go, and I was really kinda looking forward to it, but… it’s also antisocial to go!
Instead, I went to bed. Yeah, rock’n’roll.
And when I got up at nine o’clock at night – the water was on! Quick! SHOWER! And the laundry – clean all the thermals! And the bedclothes! And the dishes! And oh bliss, clean the bathroom and mop the floors! Never has a Saturday night doing sodding housework been so strangely fulfilling!
Oh no, wait, before any of that... fill the demijohns! Or it will be off again by tomorrow, see if it isn’t.
In conclusion: oh sweet merciful god, I have clean hair.