Monday, March 15, 2010

The rising damp

The rising damp is a common affliction of houses in England, but now we get to experience it ourselves in our very own home. It's been raining quite a lot lately, and by "quite a lot" I mean "pouring steadily and without interruption since Friday night and it's now midday Monday and still coming down like a bastard." So we knew we'd get water in the basement, because whenever it rains a lot, it sort of leaks through the foundation on the uphill side of the house and trickles across the floor in one or two small rivulets to the sump on the downhill side. Not surprisingly, it trickled in more of a torrent over the weekend, but Ben has a Shop-vac so he kept at it, sucking up several hundred gallons. Then he went to check it out this morning, Day 3 of the Deluge, and found that the manageable rivulets had been replaced by several inches of water with bits of wood floating around and water going places it had certainly never gone before, including perilously close to the furnace which sits in some sort of big pan but the pan is only a couple inches high, etc., etc.

I have a 10-minute walk to the Alewife subway station each morning. It's right next to Alewife Brook, which floods whenever there's this much rain. People had hoses running out of their basements with water gushing into the street. And there was more flooding farther on. I took a pic with my iPhone and hey, I got myself in the noose-paypah! Take a good look, because this is probably the closest I'll come to having a byline in the Boston Globe. Maybe they'll give me the Pulitzer for "Photo Not Quite as Crappy as the Other Ones That Got Published." Ben congratulated me for doing my bit to hasten the demise of professional journalism. Ha -- what does he know? I'm laughing all the way to the bank with the big fat check the Globe gave me... wait, what? Oh. Anyway, here's another one I took. This is a road I have to walk along, which is not a problem when it's not abour eight inches underwater. You can see someone in a yellow raincoat doing what I had to do, which is the Olympic balance-beam event along the rounded asphalt curb. I had the foresight to wear waterproof boots that go up as high as hiking boots -- Not. Good. Enough. Tomorrow we break out the wellies.

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