Sunday, 29 July 2012

Once More into the Breach

(in memory of leaks and competence)

Months of preparation
weeks of detailed costing,
another week or two of work,
to fix a cleansing issue
we started to put our lives
and chattels back into
cupboards, onto shelves,
to welcome back normality.
We looked at the product
of our plans and saw
that it was good,
but for a lengthening list
of minor snags, it did appear ok.
On the surface.
We waited patiently
for all their dust, which spread
throughout the Universe,
to settle out, so to clean
for one last time.
We enjoyed that special feeling,
you know, the one you get
for things when they are new,
like a child at Christmas,
that makes you feel 
that it was all worth waiting for.
Through all their soot and grime,
we tolerate
their tendency to make it worse
when they cleaned up 
after they had done.
Their habit of making
you feel like it wasn’t your home!
Then a sight that took us back
to where it all began,
dampening our ardour,
crushing our spirit.
Enraged, we watched
a patch upon the ceiling,
where it started, and where
we saw a rather 
expensive alternative 
to what we had before,
grow larger and larger
and larger.
So they came back 
to deconstruct
to reconstruct
to seal it properly
this time.
Near three hours it took them
to bring back hope
to our oh so forlorn hearts.
And so we let another day,
or two, pass into chaos.
And on the third day…
we stepped in, spirit renewed,
to wash away the anger
to cleanse our spirit
once more.
Once more…
Once more and they are dead,
I’d said, with feeling
like I really meant it.
Once more into this breach
and all that will be left of them
are entrails and body parts.
We’d wash them down 
through the drain
and out into the earth
to feed the worms.
Once more, this morning 
I was clean and happy,
for a few short moments,
as I stepped out
with towel around,
my hopes for future life…
...dashed in an instant.
The sight of it, 
a trickle, a little stream,
dribble, ooze, seeping as it was
through micron gaps,
a percolating spill,
pouring, gushing
rivulet that found its way
down below, to flee its source,
to prove them singularly
unable to seal
the breach in the damn.
If I were a psychopath,
I’d cut their fingers off,
stick one in the faulty dyke
and float one in the puddle 
I found a while ago
upon the kitchen floor.
© 2012 John Anstie

A poetic picture prompt...?


  1. Oh dear, John...this doesn't sound good. It's lucky we can write our feelings out through poetry! My sympathies & hugs for you :)

    1. That's why I've put a poem in my prose blog, Lou! It was also a reasonably effective way of ridding me of my feelings of utter frustration this morning.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you are well?

  2. “Water, water, everywhere
    And all the boards did shrink
    Water, water everywhere
    Nor any drop to drink.”

    ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    That's the first thing I thought of thinking about your water woes. Sending you warm, dry hugs,


    1. Thank you very much, Eden, for this classic and most appropriate poetic comment! It was the only way I could think to stop myself banging my head against a brick wall this morning!

  3. It's not death that's the great equalizer, but water! John, you have my sympathy, truly. But now it's time to lower the boom and teach these guys a lesson. Sue them! This is ridiculous. Just do it and make them know who's boss here!! In the best hopes that this will be settled soon. :))

    1. So, Jacquie, if it's not death that's the equaliser, should I drown them instead of hanging, drawing and quartering them! LoL. But thanks for your moral support.

      As to suing, it all depends on who I'd sue, the insurance company (because the major part of this work has been the result of the effects of a water leak in the first place and a consequent insurance claim and they have employed the contractor to do the work) or the contractor, with whom I agreed some extra work, including things like plastering the bathroom ceiling and another wall elsewhere in the house, swapping the positions of the shower and toilet and concomitant changed positions of waste and water supply pipework. So could get complicated. My hope is that the insurance assessor gets the contractor to fix it once and for all.

      Watch this space!

  4. Oh dear, I agree with Jacqui - sue 'em make a fuss, be mad as hell and get even!

    1. Thank you too for your moral support, M. I value it.

      As for suing, see above reply to J.

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  6. Time to take the plumbers for a lengthy, one-way journey, methinks ... would you like me to arrange it for you, mate? :)

    1. A one way trip... down the gang plank, into the main, to wash them into the great white waters of hell! Or maybe the witches of Pendle led by Alice Nutter should cook 'em up in cauldron of gruel !!

    2. P.S. I'll make a provisional booking on the 'contract', if I may, Pierre. After their efforts today, I've told 'em I'll test the shower for two weeks, then, if no further leaks appear, he can send back the decorator to redo the ceiling and wall sections he's destroyed to get to the leak and then he might get paid! :-)

  7. so sorry the renovations have caused such heartache...and water damage. wishing you sunny days ahead.

    1. Thanks Jo-Anne. This thing's going to run and run I fear. I've lost all confidence in the contractor now - he's failed twice to fix the leak ( selective blindness, I think ) so now trying to get another to do the business. Nightmare!


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