Monday, 23 April 2007

No exploding taps in Finland

I knew it was too good to last, all this family thing. Dig announces he's due in Finland in three days time and then the kitchen tap explodes. The tap's been a bit dodgy for about ten years, so I can't really complain about that bit. And Dig's always off somewhere at short notice. He claims that he tells me months in advance but I don't believe he does. Admittedly, it's so painful to hear he's just off to China for two weeks, or India for ten days or, get this one, Mauritius, which he says is not a holiday honestly, that I have to put my fingers in my ears and sing 'Tralalala! Not listening! Not listening!'

I can't do much about the disappearing Dig except get used to it. And the exploding tap too, probably. We bought these taps from Camden Market in about 1992 about three months after the butler's sink. They are proper Victorian brass taps and a pleasure to use. Only for about the last ten years the hot water one hasn't quite been connected to the board it's in, so everytime anyone turns it on they have to hold it down. This was amusing for the first few years, because it's like having a tap that's seen The Exorcist too many times. However, the joke wore thin when I've my hands filled with saucepans, the baby Squirrel, Shark and Tiger screaming for puree of carrot and then, just as I need it, the tap spinning round on its Exorcist kick.

But today it's given up. I turn it on, like normal, the left hand holding onto the stem to stop the spinning, the right hand gripping the tap wheel at the top. Then I go to turn it off. Nothing happens. In fact the flow seems to increase in some sort of Lookalike Niagara Falls Competition, the sink's filling with hot water faster than the plughole can manage and I'm being very self-reliant and grown up shouting to an alarmed Tiger, 'Eek! Get daddy!' to which Tiger gets confused and tells me he's gone to Finland already.

Dig is an adult, so he turns off the water then looks at the tap. After about ten minutes he says he's going to have a go at mending it. Mending it involves taking swings at it with a monkey wrench. After a bit longer he says it's a washer and disappears for two hours to B&Q.

I have no idea what he's done now, except the tap drips drip drip drip drip and it's at a funny angle. I can turn it on and off, as long as I hold it down. Dig says one day he'll mend it properly, but first he's just got to pack his bags and get himself to Finland. And if the tap explodes again while he's gone, get a plumber.

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