Last night, after a lurrvely dinner at home with some great company, YT retired at 12.50am. Precisely one hour later, at 1.50am, she was shaken out of her slumber by a highly agitated EPI standing over her and declaring, “We’ve got serious trouble!”

EPI went on to mutter something incoherent about a puddle, trickling water and a bucket, and stormed out of the room. [Although on reflection it is possible that ‘incoherent’ was more about YT’s processing of information]. An exceedingly groggy YT followed, stumbling down the hallway, still very much drifting on that white cloud of sleep that had so deliciously enveloped her moments before.

But alas! What did I see when I entered the pantry? There was, indeed, a puddle on the floor, and a bucket next to it with a mop, that EPI had furiously been using to soak up the water. ‘Put your ear to the wall!’ EPI demanded, while YT was still trying to get her head around the fact that she was in fact standing in the pantry in the blinding electric light and not, in fact, dreaming. So I put my ear to the wall and had to concede that, yes, there was indeed the very soothing sound of trickling water inside it.

Meanwhile, EPI had had more time to get worked up about this and had progressed to the pulling-his-hair-out stage. YT just leaned on the mop, sort of stunned, and stared at the puddle that was growing larger by the minute. EPI was going on about having to wake the neighbours, etc. and suddenly he was out the door.

So YT mopped and mopped, and went and put on some clothes [because I evidently was not about to wake up from this bad dream] and then mopped some more, and now that her mind was working again, worked out that it might be a good idea to call the insurance company.

By that time EPI had returned so I told him of my brilliant idea and he got on the blower and called the emergency number at the insurance company. Much to my amazement, a moment later he was actually talking to a real live person on the other end. [No, I have not had much experience with this sort of thing. Thankfully.] To my further amazement, that person appeared to be calm and was making eminent sense. A plumber would be dispatched. The plumber would assess the situation. It was all under control.

By that time, two of our neighbours had arrived, so YT did what one does in these sorts of situations: made tea. Eventually, around 3-ish, the plumber arrived, looking and acting perfectly chipper, as though 3am were a perfectly civilized hour to be going out and visiting people. He went into the basement, turned off the cold water, instructed us to inform the rest of the people in the building so they wouldn’t turn on the shower in the morning and scald themselves [because our hot water is geothermal, meaning it comes directly out of the volcanic ground at a temperature of around 60°C/140F], said he’d turn up between 9 and 10, and then left.

So of course, we didn’t get to sleep until around 4 am and were up at 7.30. At which time EPI blithely left for work. The plumber showed up at the stipulated time and proceeded to demolish the wall between our pantry and our bathroom, locating the offending leaky pipe. Long story short, it was a dirty, messy, yucky, noisy day – and that plumber was a piece of work, let me tell you, fancied himself a bit of an armchair philosopher that one. Some of the pearls of wisdom that came rolling out of that guy’s mouth were just too precious for words. And clever YT actually collected some of them and will definitely post them, but not tonight because I am – justifiably – totally – wasted.

Oh, and the weather was fine. Cloudy I think, mostly. Temps around 13°C and daybreak was at 04.22, nightfall will be at 22.39.