Sunday, 11 August 2013

Fixing the hole

Suddenly there's a flurry of urgency to fix the hole in my ceiling, caused when a broken roof tile let the rain in and turned the ceiling into a soggy mess and the light into a fizzing danger zone.  This all happened in May.  After the initial stream of tradesmen and insurance assessors the interest in the hole in my ceiling returned to zero.

This didn't really bother me.  Although finding clothes in my wardrobe was like mining underground and applying makeup required a leap of faith, the prospect of living in a space where the ceiling is removed, replaced and painted kept me quiet.

Last week I had some missed calls from the insurer's builder.  It seemed like he thought I was the owner so I referred him to the real estate agent.  A couple of days later, I received an email from the agent asking if it was okay for her to give the key to the guy for a couple of hours on Wednesday morning so he could "do some insurance work".

I knew from the conversation I had with the insurance assessor on the day they made the assessment that the ceiling would need to be removed, a new one put in and the room painted, so I wasn't quite clear about what was going to happen on Wednesday morning.  I called her.  She didn't know anything and told me to speak to the guy.  I did.  He said they needed the room emptied and it would take at least three days to complete the job.

I called her back and repeated what I'd already told her about the works to be done.  Where was all my stuff to go?  Her suggestion was to put it in another room.  I live in a small two bedroom flat where all the rooms are used.  There's no space to just transplant a whole room of furniture and clothing!

Before I head interstate again (which would provide an ideal opportunity to do the works) I need to pack up my small personal items and find somewhere to put them.  This is easier said than done when I have a lot of work on and doing it at night time is challenging because it's dark!  My bedside lamp is designed to create a mood, not a work site.  A local charity will discover a donation of several handbags which I had forgotten I had, so I dusted them off and hope others will appreciate them.  The benefit is an enforced clean out, but the timing is awful.

Apart from these logistics, there's the issue of providing unsupervised access to my home for a bunch of work men whom I've never met.  A friend who has lived through plastering said to be prepared for the whole house to be covered in plaster dust!  None of it is good.  And it's made worse by the fact that the extent of the damage would have been minimised if the agent had done something when I first reported that I could hear dripping in the ceiling!

There's nothing I can do, but embrace the opportunity for a clean out.  Embracing with gritted teeth.

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