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Monday, January 14, 2013

At 7pm last night, 54 hours after putting a note through her door, we finally heard back from our neighbour upstairs. She didn't knock, shout sorry through the letterbox, or leave us a nice bunch of flowers, but she did return our note with this message attached...

That's the entire message. There's no apology, no offer of compensation, no concern or enquiry about the damage. And I don't know why it took her two days to write it. I can only assume she was perfecting that swirl on the 'd' of 'do' with her expensive fountain pen. Although with no insurance, she'd better hope it doesn't leak on her sofa.

Anyhoo, as I understand it, if the lady above did have insurance, then Churchill could have claimed back our £100 excess from them and returned it to us, along with the possibility of compensation for the loss of items with sentimental value, such as our signed Julian Clary book, which was completely saturated. As it is, that hundred quid is gone, along with any hope of compensation for our suffering.

Morally speaking, she really ought to pay us that money out of her own pocket, and having taken some free legal advice via numerous internet forums, it appears that she is liable for that £100 excess, as she was negligent in leaving her washing machine running while she went out for the evening. However, that would involve us pursuing her through the small claims court, and after all the hassles we've already been through this year, that's something we're unlikely to do.

It doesn't seem right, though, that someone can choose not to buy insurance, when that decision harms the people living below who are responsible enough to have insured their home. Not only do we pay out every year for the policy, but we're now at least £100 down, while she gets away scot-free without paying a penny. Our premium will go through the roof too. It's just a shame that's not literally true, as it might ruin her laminate flooring.

Ok, rant over. As Lisa's been telling me all morning, accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference. And then put a hose through her letterbox and see how she likes it.

On the bright side, we've had a phone call from the council this morning, promising to send us a report from the plumber, so at least we're getting somewhere there. With a bit of luck, we might actually be in a position to prove our case by the end of the week. Which will be an almighty relief.

Anyhoo, if you're wondering what the effect is of twelve days spent living in a damp, musty, flood-damaged flat, then here's your answer...

Well ok, I don't really know how much the flood had to do with it. To be honest, I'm still trying to pin it on Lisa's Mum. But let's face it, living with damp walls and ceilings can't have helped.

Either way, I went to see the doctor this morning, and he signed me off work for another week. He said my throat is "red raw", which I could have told him myself if it didn't hurt so much to talk, but he said I'm probably not contagious any more. Although I might have RSI after spending twenty minutes pressing the redial button on my phone just to get that appointment.

So what with one thing and another, it's not been the best of years so far. But it has had one undeniably bright spot. Stefan and Andrew turned up on our doorstep yesterday with a home-made carrot cake. I think they'd read my blog post about losing half a stone, and decided to take action. Although with hindsight, I wondered if Stefan was on an undercover mission from my boss to find out if I'm genuinely ill. Either way, it was a touching thing to do, and after a week of unfeeling insurance companies, uncaring neighbours, and unending illness, it cheered me up no end. Unfortunately, having eaten next to nothing all week, one slice of the world's nuttiest, fruitiest and most gorgeously delicious carrot cake was enough to make me queasy.

So I waited a good twenty minutes before having a second slice. Upper respiratory tract infection or no upper respiratory tract infection, some things are too good to miss.


Phil's Mum said...

I'm sure that visit restored your faith in human nature (some of it, anyway!)  And I love Lisa's latest idea - we can lend you a hose pipe!

Friends of Rozi and Zita said...

I'd go for small claims court, it's not as difficult as it seems, they have made it very easy and your case is very straight forward.  Because it was caused by her you should not be out of pocket -end of. (I'll help you with it, I love these sorts of fights! -and I'm good at them too!)

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Jon the Bassist said...

All things considered, I really think that the situation is / was NOT of your making and other powers (about one floor above) are responsible. So, like with an uninsured car driver I think there should be some protection, so I am guessing that the small claims could be the way to go