Monday, May 25, 2015

The Untrustworthiness of Cisterns

Well, some bank holiday weekend this has turned out to be - I've had to dodge multiple attempts by household objects to maim and kill me.  First thing on Saturday the push button which operates the flush on my toilet fractured as I pushed it down, driving the push rod it operates into the palm of my hand.  The mark it left is still visible.  I should add here that the cistern on my toilet is over twenty five years old, so the 'push button' mechanism isn't one of those modern ones with no mechanical linkage.  It is simply a rectangular piece of plastic which covers the top end of a plastic rod which is physically depressed to operate the flushing mechanism.  I had hoped that finding a replacement button would prove straightforward.  How wrong I was. I eventually turned to web, but found that I first had to identify the make and model of the cistern (it isn't visibly marked with these details).  I can honestly say that looking at photo after photo of toilet cisterns on plumbing supplies sites is the least exciting internet experience I've ever had.  Anyway, I eventually identified it as a Thomas Dudley Ltd Elite cistern - a type which hasn't been manufactured in donkey's years.  Consequently, whilst some sites offered the button as a spare, they were asking exorbitant prices - one wanted £16.50 for what is essentially a small piece of moulded plastic.  Somewhat bizarrely, I found that one supplier offering it for the relatively more 'reasonable' price of £10.50 actually have a retail outlet here in Crapchester.  Within walking distance of my house, in fact.  So, I'll go down there tomorrow (they've been closed all bank holiday weekend) and see if I can get a replacement button.

Having effected a temporary repair to the old button, so that I wouldn't have to keep taking the lid off of the cistern in order to operate the flush via the internal linkage, I thought I could relax.  But no, I soon found myself under attack again.  As I finally thought I was drifting of to sleep in the early hours of this morning (I've been having real trouble sleeping of late), I found my stabbed in the back by my clapped out mattress as a spring broke through the fabric and pierced the sheets.  Luckily, it wasn't a penetrating wound - I was turning over as it happened, so the spring scored across my back and side, breaking the skin and causing some minor bleeding.  I'm left with a still bloody painful wheal across my back.  Not surprisingly, I now found myself wide awake and it was light before I got back to sleep (I made the mattress 'safe' by rotating to move the holed part to the opposite and of the bed and put a thick blanket between it's surface and the fitted sheet).  Consequently, I've spent a lot of this bank holiday Monday catching up with my sleep.  And looking into getting a new mattress and bed.  my regular reader(s) will undoubtedly be thinking at this point that the whole incident is a case of chickens coming home to roost after my bed problems of a few months ago, when I repaired the bed rather than replacing it and the mattress. Well OK, obviously in hindsight I should have dealt with the matter back then and avoided being stabbed in the back by the ungrateful bastard of a bed. But as I'd just had to fork out for replacing the hot water cylinder after the disaster its leaking had caused in the kitchen, I just didn't have the energy to deal with replacing the bed as well.  Luckily, I'm off work all this week, so I should be able to resolve the situation fairly promptly.  The moral of all this is that you can't bloody trust anything - not even household objects which have previously served you faithfully for years!



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