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calendar   Friday - May 01, 2009

THIS OLE HOUSE AND WATER, COOL,CLEAR, WATER. HOLD THE GAS!

OMG, the instant I saw the title I thought maybe it was you or your neighbor!

How’s that gas leak situation going?

[ Peiper’s neighbors are rebuilding the whole house, so they have the lawn torn up, and all the pipes and wires are breaking. Extra extra fun to live next door to! ]
Posted by Drew458

Drew posted that yesterday and when I saw it this morning the idea came to me that perhaps I should tell everyone what’s been happening the last couple of daze.  No, I’m not trying to be arty. DAZE is what we feel like we are in.  Pay attention. There will be a test when we come to.

This olde house is named Avalon. All houses on the street have names. No numbers. Avalon is one of three dormer bungalows built between 1923 and 1926.  Ours was the second one built and the last, in ‘26 was called Roydon. It still is.  That bungalow was knocked down last year and there’s this large red brick eye sore in its place now.

Avalon was owned by a wonderful old fellow, a glass eyed veteran of the first world war. He passed away some 23 years ago and the MIL looked after the empty house and kept it looking lived in.
image

There was always the worry of squaters or travelers who could have easily moved in and just taken it.  They do that sort of thing and as most of you already know, are quite successful in getting away with it.  I guess mostly because nobody has the guns to just shoot the bastards graveyard dead. 

Well, the lady who was raised in Avalon married a Harley Street heart surgeon. Yeah. Think MONEY in caps.  She just could not give up her girlhood home and so it was maintained all these years until her own passing a bit over a year ago.
By maintained I mean they kept and paid for heat,gas,electric and water.  If repairs were needed, they got done and the bills went to the doctor and his wife.  The lawn was done every other week even if it didn’t need it. Hedges were trimmed etc.  When the MIL fell too ill to continue, the wife took over once we’d moved here.

Washing was done in our house but in winter as I discovered when I came here, the wet laundry was carried next door to the vacant Avalon, where it was all hung to dry usually overnight but sometimes perhaps another day.  That was because Avalon had central heating and the temp. was kept at around 70 degrees all winter. Day and night.
Electric here btw VERY EXPENSIVE.  MIL had no dryer nor did she want the expense of one. Hardly anyone has air and windows open outward almost everywhere and so NO screens on windows in summer.

Well, the old Avalon is now gone. The lady who grew up here passed away and her husband and granddaughter sold the place a bit over a year ago, at the very top of the market. Money to money.  The place was sold to a local dentist and his family and two freekin dogs and yes they do damn well bark, for very near one million dollars if your thinking in American terms.  It has a very large lot in back, longer then ours but I don’t think quite as wide though I could be mistaken. Anyway, it’s bigger. 


So this all brings me down to the last couple of stress filled days.


See that tree to the right?
Yeah. That one.  Well, it’s large ok and its roots deep AND .. image

it sits right on top of the main gas supply.  Long before demolition started, gas and water and electric to Avalon were cut off.  Ah but …. our house and Avalon have shared since the homes were built, the same water main.  Right. Should the water be turned off in one house, the water gets turned off in the other two.  Gets interesting huh? Hope so.

They did something so that our water wasn’t touched and all was fine.  I guess they were able to cap Avalon and leave ours in place.  When the house on the other side of us was built last year, they got a direct water line and were taken completely off the old system. But they are also on a water meter now.  We are on the old flat rate system.  There were no meters when this place was built.

So, the day before yesterday I wasn’t feeling too well, didn’t post anything and at one point had a headache but didn’t detect any odor. At first.  I’ve been taking photos of the demolition as it goes along and went next door and stood in front of where the old gate used to be.  There was a hole in the ground, the tree was gone, a pipe was sticking out of the ground and the guy who’d been running the digger that took the tree out, was then using a gas powered saw to cut up the fallen tree.  Two years ago that tree had been pruned because part of it fell across our front yard in a heavy wind.  So there he was cutting and suddenly it caught us.  Wife had come over to join me by then and we both suggested that there was a gas leak.  But the fellow doing the sawing suggested it could also be just earth and rotted vegetation as there was a bit of that about.  But no, we insisted it was gas and sure enough, it was.

When the tree came up, it tore a pipe attached to the main below.  Where that yellow paint is.  Gas company was out there and four guys walking around with clipboards etc.
image

About 7:15 that night, a two man crew from the gas company came out and started to dig out the main pipe. At 8pm there was this cloud of gas, of course ya couldn’t see it, but as my wife’s room is downstairs she caught almost the full force of it. Her room is in front and not that far away from the exposed pipe.

It passed and she almost did too but just ended up with a ripping headache and a bit of nausea which I’d caught earlier.  By 8:15pm they had it capped, but for now it’s temporary as they have to come back at some point and do something else and so the hole remains but is covered for now with a couple of metal sheets or planks. Whatever. It’s covered till they come back when ever that is. ? 
image

That was all the day before yesterday.  You’ve heard that when it rains it pours?  Yeah well, sometimes it ain’t rain.  Sometime ya just get pissed on. Like during political elections but I’m not going there. For now anyway.

So the nice man and his digger are doing what diggers do and all is well.  We thought.

image

I was tired and needed to stretch and went out on the front porch and as his machine turned and he saw me, he cut the engine and asked me if we had running water.  Huh?
Oh no.  I don’t wanna hear that.  Everybody from the new owner to their architect and the builder were advised on more then one occasion about the water supply.  Which our friendly digger guy had managed to run over and broke a pipe below ground.
Doesn’t end there however.  Wouldn’t you think it would?  But no.

image
First of all, the digger says he wasn’t advised of where exactly the water pipe was but only that it might be somewhere under what was once a driveway, long grown over with grass and weed.  Also, it turned out the pipe was not buried all that deep.  Only about 8 inches under the top.  He was digging a foot down and caught a small pipe out of which water flowed.

We are talking very old very original lead pipe, I think it’s lead.  So he called his boss who called a plumber who got there about 20 minutes later. BUT … no parts that would fit anything that old.  Photo.
Old pipe off to left, blue is new but it isn’t pipe at all as it comes rolled but I guess it’s what they use. I shot this from upstairs room.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/01/2009 at 06:53 AM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffDaily LifePersonal •  
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