* Note - I will refer to the word E A R as 'Earole' throughout for security reasons that will become apparent if this gets googled ever!*
Our current lodger has only been here for 4 weeks and lost her job last Friday. She was sacked for using MSN at work can you believe. I am sure there were other things, but that was the biggy.
I felt so bad for her. She really has had a horrible run of it, and it sucks.
Since Al the weird German doctor left (THANKS BE!) in April we have had Stevie for 10 weeks then he moved in with his girlfriend. Then we had 2 dodgy dodgy plumbers for 6 weeks and then Bon for 4 weeks. It will be good if the new girl is here for a while as I don't think I can take the stress!
When we advertised the room yesterday I really didn't think it would be filled so quickly! We had 5 people coming to view and the first one took it. When we were advertising back in April when Al left there was hardly any bites to my ads. Then again in July I didn't bother advertising as I thought I would have a rest for a few weeks. TB rang me though and said she had 2 plumbers from up north wanting a room for 4 weeks while they were on a job. I thought what the hell, hiked the price up and they took it. Brill thought I.
Oh wow. They stank man. They were unbelievable filthy swines.
The eldest one smoked and stank of fags and Boss White or whatever crap they use while plumbing. They got wrecked 3 or 4 times a week down the pub and they were both proper filthy too. Older plumber had a chronic problem with his Earole which made the entrance to it the size of a 10p piece. It was packed with tissues - mine by the way - and slathered over with Vaseline and looked incredibly painful, puss ridden, raw and red. I can't quite describe how awful it looked. It was most definitely 'sign you off work for months' kind of a trauma if you get me? Critical.
They were very quiet the first night. They came in, paid me and went upstairs. The shower went on and that was it.
Sweet thinks I.
The first morning though - the whole house was wide awake with the Older plumber's death rattle. He was hawking his absolute lung linings up. Cough cough cough, choke, splutter. Only a lung cancer victim at deaths door - my grandfather being one - I am sure could make such a row. Actually, I think it was worse that either of my grandfathers ever were.
He was a heavy smoker, only 42yrs old and making that kind of noise! When you consider his Earole tribulation too? Jeeez it would send me to the hospital pronto!
Each and every morning was the same.
In the evenings, the young one had a shower and went to bed.
The older one didn't bother. He had his shower in the morning.
This did not concern me overly, although I did think it was a bit rank - but then again - they were men sharing a room without their WAGS on a building site all day long working 12 hr shifts. It was only when they moved out that I realised the error of his ways.
Things started going a bit Pete Tong pretty much instantly.
The first problems were when the toilet rolls disappeared on a twice daily basis. My kitchen roll vanished rapidly too. So did my kitchen foil, coffee and tea bags - all of which I let people use but have never seen such rapid depletion.
I hid the foil, and the coffee (which they are NOT supposed to use as they should flaming well get there own), the shower gel and kitchen roll. The toilet roll got changed to tesco value and vanished at the same, but therefore much cheaper, rate.
I also seemed have to be cleaning the bathroom on a daily basis. I don't mean just tidying up, I mean proper cleaning. Dusting, mirror wiping, scrubbing floors and washing the whole toilet inside and out. The sink seemed imperceptibly covered in a fine film of grime daily. Even the window sill seemed to be more dusty.
To be fair to them, I had to do this about 2 or 3 times a week before they arrived. I put it down to just one of those things, although it always bothered me a little in the back of my mind that I was doing it more that I used to.
I was sure that before Al had arrived, I only did a thorough cleanse once a week (if that - I am not that house proud). I figured maybe Sue used to clean the bog - she often helped around the house so, maybe that was why.
It wasn't until Bon arrived that I suddenly found my cleaning didn't need doing. It was clean on day 2, day 3 and even after a week there was no need to scrub the place.
I realised that actually it is having an extra male in the house that makes the mess. Since Sue left (when I didn't have to clean much) we have had males at all times. Al for 1 year, then Stevie and then the 2 plumbers. Having that extra male presence with 2 plumbers made it even more begrimed!
So, yeah they were filth bags, but shoot I was being paid for it.
There were also assorted oddments such as:
In our bathroom there is a little box on the ceiling where we used to have an electric shower on the wall. You used to have to pull the cord on this box to turn on the electric to heat the water... you know the kind of thing. Well, we changed our shower to a thermostatic one and therefore the little box was redundant, but as we had only just had the ceiling re-plastered, we left it up there and chopped off the cord nice and short so it wasn't dangling any more and no one would pull it.
Well I was sitting on the bog one day and happened to notice the little red light flickering on the box. someone had turned it on!
DS didn't do it, Charlotte didn't do it. DH didn't do it and I certainly didn't do it!
I turned it off and left it at that.
Then our front security light didn't go on. Someone had switched off the switch which is high up in the front room out of the way. You would have no reason to play with this stuff.
The lock on the bathroom door was near busted off its hinges. The toilet roll holder was bent so now it doesn't stand up right.
Loads of Crap like this.
Polergeist I hear you ask?
Anyway, other things started happening in the bathroom. In the mornings, after we were awakened by Older Plumber dying daily in the bathroom for 20 minutes at 6am, we used to get up and use the loo.
We had a venetian blind in there. White. Wooden. Nice. Always able to have the sunlight in, but keep peeping neighbours from enjoying the view whilst you shower. We always had the little fan light window open a little to let steam out and have never found this a problem. We have never needed to open it fully right up to its full ratchet, nor have we ever needed to pull the blind up completely and leave the strings dangling on the floor and in the bath/sink/wrapped in the toothbrushes.
This was the state of affairs we found ourselves in on most days.
Here's a pic of our bathroom so you can see what I mean
You can see that next to the mirror, we have a little metal enamelled bathroom ornament of a lady in a bath, then below that are the toothbrushes in a toothbrush holder. The strings that operate the blind hang neatly behind there.
So when I came into the bathroom and saw the blind right up, the window open full ratchet and the strings dangling all over the place and my toothbrishes practicing some kind of bondage, I was flummoxed. I wondered if they needed more light to shave, squeeze their spots, get some air because of the death rattle... I mean, there was no need to open the window wider when you have a shower as it never steams up in there... there just didn't seem to be a reason. It wasn't as if he was even taking in the view as the window is etched to obscure people looking in.
So each morning, I would yank with all my might to close the window, and untangle the cords from my ornament and the toothbrushes and pull the blind down again.
It was a few days later we found out what was going on.
The anus had been smoking in the bathroom!
We were doing DH's tax return and were sitting in the office for ages and ages and it got to like 3 am before we decided to take a break. We made a coffee and sat on the sofa for a bit when I smelled smoke.
I used to smoke years ago, and thankfully have not turned into a sanctimonius smug ex-smoker who tells everyone else they should stop. I frankly don't care what other people do and am just glad I dont want a fag now. I am richer by £40 a week most probably - not that I noticed that bonus ever - I am so over it I could sit in a car with the windows up and you could blow smoke in my face and I couldn't give a monkeys or ever be induced to put a fag to my lips ever again.
Now, because we dont smoke, we advertise our room as no smoking. We have found that most of the people who answer our ads as a non smoker on their profile actually lie however.
After we inevitably find out that they do indeed smoke, we just let em go outside. I dont mind this at all. I couldn't care less about someone smoking outside - Older plumber was aware of this and did it often, sitting talking to his wife and kids etc. on my patio having a smoke most evenings. I was pretty sure that it was fairly obvious that smoking in the bathroom of all places was a no no.
The lazy sod didn't bother coming downstairs to have a fag - he was getting up at 3am and having one in the bathroom instead!
We are usually late birds, but 3am is very late for us.
I said to DH "I can smell fags" and ran upstairs and it STANK. He had had a fag, shut the door and then gone back in his room and let it fester with the window wide open. There was even fag ash in the sink and a butt tucked behind the mirror! He obviously retrieved these in the mornings.
I went about house a bit and made some noise about fags, which they would definitely have heard, and how it stank upstairs etc and I went and got the key to the bathroom window and locked the thing.
That was the last time the blind was up so that had obviously been going on for weeks.
I was incensed. How DARE he. Now, ordinarily I would have said something to the bloke, but for some reason I didn't trust them. I just had that feeling about them (the wierd little things that he was obviously touching around the house and fiddling with being part of the circle of mistrust) and I told them our new lodger was moving in a week sooner than she was to get rid of them.
There were various other issues, but they were going, and that was what I cared most about.
They left and I went up to clean their room so that it would be ready when Bon wanted to come. My Mum and Dad were coming up to stay for a few days too which was nice as they usually have to have our bed and we sleep on the floor in the front room - not good.
Now, I had seen those guys wash their stuff. I have seen the distinctive orange bedclothes go round and round in the washing machine a few times so I knew that even though they were filthy from work on site, and one of them was also rank and diseased, they did at least wash their clothes and bed clothes. It must be difficult being on site, no wives about, pretty crap.
Well... obviously only ONE of the filthy ingrates had!!!!!
I should have taken photos.
This is the bedroom after I had cleansed it:
To accommodate 2 people in this room the desk you see was put into the large wardrobe you can't quite see on the right. The towel rail was removed and put on the landing. The chest of drawers was wheeled into the gap where the towel rail was and then a camp bed was put along the wall on the right.
It was a camp bed, but I made it really comfy for them with a 12tog double duvet folded up on the bottom, then another duvet as extra padding followed by normal sheets on top and then the usual bedding. It was basically then a very narrow but comfortable cot bed. They had absolutely no complaints and one slept in the double bed and the other on the cot. I think they were going to swap - one week on the cot, one week in the bed, that kind of thing, but in the end Older Plumber slept on the cot for 6 weeks.
When I cleared Younger plumber's bed it was nice and clean, the sheets were freshly washed and it was no problem.
Older plumbers bed was unbelievable.
Now, this is totally god's honest truth.
The bed was made. I pulled back the duvet and it revealed a dark brown sheet - the colour of coffee - fading to paler brown on the parts he slept less on.
The underneath of the duvet was spattered with blood and puss stains and there were several cotton buds covered in puss and blood and gunk from his Earole catastrophy.
The pillow was redecorated with stain on stain on stain from where his aural cavern had evidently leaked juice over the last 6 weeks. There was blood, watery stains, grease from the Vaseline and chunks of stuff matted into it.
DS and I stared at it in disbelief.
I told him to go downstairs and get me bin liners and the disposable rubber gloves and the dettol spray.
When I was suitably clothed for the event, I rolled up the duvet, in the duvet cover, and put it in a dustbin bag.
I picked up the pillow to dispose of that too and it was hard. It was actually as stiff as a board from the effluent from his Earole and had soaked and dried multiple times into the pillow over the last 6 weeks.
Trying to stop myself from gagging, I put the other pillow straight in the bin too.
He hadn't even bothered to turn it over or use another pillow. He just slept on it, night after night. I guess for me that was a small mercy.
I stripped the top sheet and that went in the bin directly too.
The sheet underneath, which I had used to cover over and kind of hold together the makeshift duvet mattress, was I realised, my Egyptian cotton bed sheet from my own bed.
I was in a quandry. It had small flecks of blood on it, but if I boil washed it in bleach, would it come clean? If it did come clean could I use it anyway? It cost me £30 for that sheet and I was gutted. Why had I used it????
I opted for the bin.
The duvet underneath my egyptian cotton holding sheet was in a duvet cover and was clean. It just.. you know.. needed a wash.
I put that in another bin liner earmarked for bleach bath and boil washing just in case. I changed my mind later trust me.
The big fat double duvet underneath that which I had used for the bulk padding was next to useless anyway. It was one of the duvets DS uses to make tents and dens in the garden or sunbathe on and it was a bit shredded so I decided to bin it at any rate, filthy or not.
I started to roll it up when I noticed wetness and a horrible horrible smell. It was soaking. From sweat. The bottom of the camp bed was waterproofed, obviously, as it was a camp bed. This meant that because the scummy deadbeat had never changed his sheets or aired his bed it was wet on the bottom. The more I rolled, I saw mold and more mold on the camp bed etc and the whole chunky duvet was just full on damp.
Then I noticed something else - it looked like the remains of chicken chow mein.
Oh! My bad!! It WAS chicken chow mein.
What on EARTH?????
There was, no joke, about 2 tablespoons of chicken chow mein underneath the entire bed between the camp bed canvas and the double duvet padding.
Let me run through the layers again incase you were lost dear reader...
Under the duvet, was a polycotton bed sheet.
Under the polycotton bed sheet was my expensive egyptian cotton sheet.
Under the expensive egyptian cotton sheet was a thin duvet in a cover.
Under the thin duvet in a cover was a big fat double duvet (folded double)
Under the big fat double duvet (folded double) there was freaking chicken chow mein.
Chicken chow mein in a bed.
Been there a while.
Marinating in a manky Geordies juices.
At this stage I was, I think, in shock.
How in heaven's name did chicken chow mein get between his bed? How? Seriously?
So you know what I did? I picked up all that bedding, all the chow mein and the camp bed it was on, lobbed it all in double black bags and took it all down the dump.
If only it ended there...
Under the camp bed there was various debris. More cotton buds where he had raked his contaminated cavity out. Umpteen empty cardboard toilet rolls, tissues and tissues and tissues all covered in a rusty coloured chunky horror....
There was a coffee stain on the brand new carpet and a staggering general assortment of refuse for just 6 weeks.
I used 1001 disinfectant carpet spray all over where the hobbit had been sleeping. I also had to wash the walls around where the cot had been because there were smear marks and specks of what I think were aural splatter. I bleached all the walls and around the light switch, door handles and all areas he could have touched.
I dettol sprayed the telly remote control and the little cupboard too.
I cleansed the bathroom top to bottom with bleach and elbow grease and then I had a very very hot shower with carbolic soap!
I was immensely glad that I got rid of them a week early. It could barely have been worse, but I still shudder to think what it would have been like after another week of puss dripping.
When Bon moved in it was like a breath of fresh air in the place. Sweet girl, and lovely to talk to, nice boyfriend etc and generally a restful peace fell on the house. I have already mentioned the fact that I only have to clean the bog once a week now too - so that was also a bonus.
So, sad to see her go, but now we have a new girl. I hope she will be very very happy here.
So ends the story of the 2 Plumbers from up north.