Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Nothing

I have a Floor Problem. It's been going on for a year and a half (maybe more) and I've studiously ignored it. There's damp in the wood. And a horrible blackness is taking over (like The Nothing, in The Neverending Story). When two of the boards in the passage popped up last month creating, in effect, a longtitudinal speed bump in its centre, I decided it was time to Take Notice.

So I've had a stream of Floor Guys, Builders, Damp Specialists, Insurance Assessors, Leak Detectors (and an inquisitive neighbour or two, one of whom pulled a penknife from his pocket and scraped at my floorboards, without asking or anything - WTF?) and their various entourages traipsing through The House in the Middle of The Street, tutting and tsking, lifting and looking and then sending me reports and (whopping) quotes.

The Results:
  • The wood is destroyed by damp and must be pulled up, in its entirety
  • There is a whole lot of water beneath the wood (duh!)
  • There is no known leak which can account for the underfloor lake
  • Insurance will therefore not pay (bastards)
  • Once the wood is pulled up, the area beneath will be filled with rubble, allowed to settle, then concrete, then waterproofing, then concrete, and then left to dry (not unlike an inedible trifle I thought, looking dreamy-eyed thinking of it while The Builder explained in great detail)
  • Then more waterproofing and, finally, wood on top
  • This will take approximately 5 weeks (in The City Beneath the Mountain, it is wise to double any building time estimates) during which time I have to move out - aarrgghh
  • All this will cost around about a gazillion South African ronts

So, as of the beginning of October, I (and my menagerie) will be moving in with my folks and any other kind folk that'll have us for random amounts of time, to break up the time a bit because, as much as I adore my folks (and am eternally grateful to have a comfortable spot to move to), one reaches an age when living with them is not ideal (for either party). Sweet Babycat is being farmed out to The BFF (I hope she's ok, he doesn't have a garden like mine), and the rest of us are homeward bound.

The logistics, as you can imagine, are a nightmare. I keep feeling swamped, and am having great fun spending time with my boyfriend, Insomnia in the pre-dawn hours, going over plans and plots etc. It must just be done.

And the House in the Middle of The Street will be so pretty (and dry, and probably more healthy without The Nothing being breathed in by all of us), once it's all done, won't it?


allie said...

Break up with that boyfriend
Before you do anything else.

And then think of being spoilt for a while.
Will that happen?

Shiny said...

Oh Allie, I keep trying! The bastard is relentless! True, I will be spoilt there, for sure! x

Anonymous said...

Would a pair of galoshes be cheaper? And a sou'wester?

Shiny said...

Mud - they would be, yes, but it'd be so dark living in the Underground Lake... x