Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Tree Climbing Skills

Last night I had to perform minor acrobatics scrambling through the tiny loft hatch - sans stepladder - of my girlfriend's mom's house to switch off the main water valve after the tap for the downstairs shower finally snapped off and the valve jammed, leaving me unable to turn the damn thing off. The plumbing in that house looks like it hasn't been replaced since it was first put in - which must be something like thirty, forty years ago now.

Curious fact: loft access in Taiwan is very different from back home. In all the houses I have ever known in England, Scotland or Germany, the entrance to the loft was always fixed in the ceiling along the horizontal axis and would be approximately a two foot by two foot square block of wood which you could push up and out of the way from a standing position on your stepladder below. What I had to deal with last night - and quite without the aid of a stepladder - was a tiny little hinged wooden hatch just less than two feet wide and just over a foot high sited on the vertical axis - necessitating the use of skills I probably haven't used since I was ten or twelve years old. The floor of the loft was solid concrete rather than creaky wooden rafters, which is just as well because I had my full weight (about 185 lbs) dangling off the lip of that thing for a good minute or two while trying to wiggle my body through that tiny hatch.

And I'll get to do the whole thing again either tonight or tomorrow after the new valve and tap for the downstairs shower arrives.

Whoopdee-do, eh?

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