June 13th 2002

When me and a friend came home on Wednesday afternoon, I wanted to show her the muddle of an attic that is. Climbing up the hell-bound – because missing various steps – ladder I realised that my dear Bob, the Builders had somehow forgotten to fix the huge foil preventing falling rain to enter the house, to the beams. (They simply nail the foil to the beams and usually that holds quite well.)
Well, most of the foil was properly nailed to the beams, but the spot where they’d last exited the attic, to climb down on he scaffolding, was blowing in the wind, nailed to nothing whatsoever.

“No, they’ve been gone for hours and I don’t think they’re coming back before Monday, either,” said my dope-smoking reggae-producing neighbour Caspar when I asked him if he thought the workers might return to fix the roof / foil. Brilliant!
At that time the sun was still shining but in the West I could see biiig blaaack clouds coming up.

Well, it couldn’t be helped: I had to take my embarrassingly tiny, girlish hammer, climb onto the scaffolding, slowly edge by way all around the building – mind you, that’s a drop of some 50 feet! – and try to nail some very decent ½ foot carpenter nails to the roof.
“Don’t you think we should call the builders?” Caspar said. “Guess who’d be here faster: Them or the rain!” (Caspar: What for a sissy! I love she!!!)

So far – so good.

Last night, then, it started raining right into my living-room! And that was not underneath where I had nailed the foil to the roof but almost everywhere else! Suddenly water was dripping from the ceiling, running down the walls and just finding its way everywhere. Super! And all this at 11:30 p.m. when I was just about to snuggle into my bed…

So instead of disappearing to cloud-nine or hibernation, I got up again, put on my working cloths and my wooden shoes (security always comes first!) tied my hair up (it’s bloody long these days!) so it wouldn’t catch on all the nails and hooks and climb back up to the attic.
Obviously even with the long Hamburg summer-nights, it’s pitch dark up there now. Back down again to get the good old Maglite and the spotlight, connected with two extension cables, too (things you need in times of war and chaos!) and back up again. (Mind you, the ladder is still broken.)
Up there it is not at all clear where the water is coming though. Hmmm…
There’s small leaks all over the place, but the amount of water in my living-room definitely indicates a major leak!
Down again and out onto the balcony (it’s still pouring rain). It’s clear that the leak must be somewhere on the flat part of the roof above my living-room, but there’s no way I can get there. Even I don’t dare to climb on a wet, slippy roof in the middle of the night. And of course the scaffolding does not reach there either (you remember the last mail, about the scaffolding, don’t you?!)

Not having achieved a thing out there, it’s back inside for Plan B, which is: Finding anything that holds a rather substantial amount of water – all my buckets are up on the attic already – and put them in the leakiest spots.
I also came up with the really clever idea of gaffa-taping a strong blue bin-liner to the wall where the water was cascading down, making the bin-liner end in a big pot. Amazingly, most of the water actually found its way into the pot, rather than going straight down to my neighbours below!

Finally I took some pictures. A) for the insurance and B) for the internet as I am trying to get my brother to program a disaster page for me. Hopefully he’ll do so shortly, so you can all enjoy the mess!

Eventually I made it to bed but obviously over-slept severely this morning…

Bonne Nuit!

PS. Would someone please remind me to buy a big man’s hammer next week – this thing I have is just a bit too embarrassing to have…