Romantic cottages for two in the Peak District

Tom’s Barn: Plumber’s Playground

Enjoying a Cornish hot tub, not wallowing in Tom's Barn!

Some of you may have puzzled but others were quicker to identify on our Facebook page a strange and rather bad (not John’s) photo of what could have been Humpy Dumpty, with a sticker on it saying “Hope this does the trick, Kate and Andrew”. It did arouse quite a lot of interest before one of our Tom’s Barn guests guessed what it might be and I was able to explain that Kate and Andrew, who – having experienced, as many have before them, the slithery nature of a series of Tom’s Barn loo seats – had most thoughtfully sent us from Devon a model they hope may prove to be more satisfactory. Many of you will understand why we were so grateful and also have reason to be grateful; meanwhile were we pleased at the thought that we might at last be going to solve this perennial problem and were waiting anxiously for the chance on Friday to attach it.

We thought we were ticking off a plumbing worry. But you never know what’s round the corner, and there was a far bigger anxiety looming. Twenty four hours of drying out pillows and washing, drying (and ironing yet to come) of previously beautifully laundered bedding later, I can tell you about it. And I still haven’t finished the washing.

What on earth happened, you may wonder? Normally on a Friday we get up bright and early, I make the ‘cake of the day’ for our guests, John fetches the logs for Tom’s Barn and empties the bins, I finish off any ironing that’s needed for the changeover and by 10am when our guests leave we are ready to face another changeover and all that might involve. At 8am yesterday morning the phone rang and Bill in Tom’s Barn broke the news that they had discovered there been a serious leak overnight, from the water tank. The water had drizzled steadily but silently, quietly soaking into four complete sets of beautifully laundered bedlinen and four sets of spare towels, and some pillows, and the new carpet below.

Our guests had only discovered when they had gone to the airing cupboard as they packed. They had done all the right things like instantly turning off the water and kindly removing many of the soaking sheets to the bathroom. Thank you Bill and Barbara – it was hardly the relaxed ending to a great stay! After they left, Roger our plumber, arrived pretty soon after to discover it was merely one tiny perished washer which had been the cause of this flood. He was able to replace it very quickly, and also to fit the seat so that was a bonus, to have it fitted professionally.

Dealing with all the soaking bedding is an ongoing story. Eight loads of washing, drying and potential ironing later we still have more previously immaculately laundered sets of bedding to rewash and iron. I wish we had taken a photo between us but it wouldn’t have been a very encouraging one. However, although O might be having a good moan, we are well aware it could have been much worse. Nothing was stained and thanks to the water being well absorbed by everything in the airing cupboard – and, admittedly, the carpet – the water didn’t come through kitchen ceiling; the damage could have been much worse.

As Bill and Barbara said their farewell, Barbara asked if at moments like this we felt it was all worth it, and we were able to say, quite genuinely, that yes, it was! And if that isn’t tempting fate, what is…?

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