It all started months ago with the floating tortilla chip, the leaking bath tub, the lack of water pressure, the lack of hot water, the spiders, the electrician...."The Adventures of the Money Pit" have continued to keep us on our toes and will probably be a blockbuster hit released in the summer of 2013.
We started noticing our walls falling apart a couple months ago but we were hesitant to tell our landlords. We envisioned A) Being forced to pack our things and move while they knocked the place down & handed the plot over to the Federal Heath Code Regulators, B) Spending the next two years greeting carpenters arriving to re-do our entire flat. If the electrician took two weeks, can you imagine being here while they knocked down walls?!? or C) Trevor, our maintenance man extraordinaire, attempting to do the job himself and coming home to find bulldozed sections of our flat halfway down our high street. So, we ignored the problem as long as possible.
However, last night with the heavy rains, our apathetic attitudes had to go (along with most of our drywall). We were finally confronted with the reality that, if mold grows, our health problems would be more of a disaster than watching our landlords attempt to handle the situation.
Today, I watched as Trevor peeled off our walls to reveal sopping wet cardboard in our living room, hallway and bedroom. Rad. The highlight: The gapping holes between the floorboards and walls and Trevor saying, "Oh my, these are big enough for mice to climb through!" Double rad.
Trevor was about to cover up the dripping cardboard with new paper and paint; however, I put my foot down and demanded that they send someone out to make sure we don't have mold in our walls. My landlord proceeded to tell me that no one in London inspects mold problems. When I said I was sure there had to be building inspectors in the city of London he said, "I can assure you, from my office over the phone, that there is no mold problem!" I truly felt reassured.
It was finally decided that an inspector would be called. Trevor was instructed to leave the walls as-is and just clean up the sheets of paper from all over our house. He asked for the vacuum cleaner.
I showed him where we keep the vaccums and said, "Use the black one! Neither really work, but the blue one is really broken!"
I watched as Trevor pulled down the blue one.
I said, "Really Trevor, it's broken, go with the black!"
He decided to take the plunge and throw caution to the wind. I watched as he plugged in the blue vacuum. The vacuum body immediately began to smoke, the front case burst open, and the entire thing exploded in our hallway. He looked at me, I looked at him...there was really nothing to say.
I did; however, experience a moment today that made me smile. If you recall my first time meeting Trevor, I was mesmerized by the tea break he took every hour. He couldn't believe that I only had one type of tea and no milk or sugar to offer him.
Today it dawned on me that, without even thinking about it, I had offered Trevor a fresh cup of tea every hour, on the hour.
I also asked the first time around, "Would you like the raspberry, Earl Grey, or breakfast blend?"
Also, without hesitation I had plopped in two sugars and a dash of milk knowing how he takes his tea. Twice, I actually sat down with him and had tea myself.
This irony was realized when Trevor, upon leaving said, "You make a wicked cup of tea."
I smiled to myself and thought, "Wow. In a mere 7 months, I have started to become british!"
I do promise; however, that no matter how long we live here, I will NEVER be ok with a floating tortilla chip in our washing machine.
Lesson Learned: Our walls are lined with cardboard, so when we move home, there will be no need to purchase moving boxes. Win!