Thieves, Insurers and Builders

In Sedgefield no one can hear you scream. . . Just turning out to be one of those weeks, thieves stole all our external copper piping, plain ripped it off the walls leaving the water gushing all night. The only way to stop the deluge is to switch the water off at the mains so we have had no running water since Friday, lugging buckets of rain water to flush the toilets gets old pretty quickly.

The insurers are dragging their feet, sending me cryptic sms’s like this one this morning – ’Claim placed on advisor delay until 30 October’ – ranting and raging on the phone makes me feel better but seems to have no impact. I get the feeling they hope that if they delay long enough I’ll just go away.

I’ve spent 3 weeks trying to get a price for the B & B/Loft renovations and am still waiting for some resolution. I’ve now had nearly every builder in the area have a look, so hopefully I’ll get somewhere soon. Despite the recession no one seems all that keen on a small job and I’m just hoping someone will get tired of me haranguing them for never materialising quotes.

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6 Responses to “Thieves, Insurers and Builders”


  1. 1 ian in hamburg October 27, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Stole your water pipes! That’s just plain desperate.

  2. 2 shoreacres October 28, 2009 at 4:54 am

    Oh, good grief. Copper theft is a terrible problem here because of the price of the metal. There’s a church in Houston that’s lost all its piping three times.

    Even the boaters have had to keep an eye out. Many boats have copper grounding straps that run throughout – feet and feet of two inch wide copper ribbon. A few unlocked boats have been boarded and had their straps ripped out. That’s a real problem, because if there’s stray electrical current and no grounding, you can sink a boat.

    I know the bucket lugging isn’t funny, but it reminded me of the 1983 freeze in Houston. There’s no insulation here so outside pipes will break after about 24 hours of below freezing, and we had several days without water because of broken pipes. The swimming pool in the courtyard was frozen, but we chopped through the ice and pulled out water for toilets from the pool.

    Hope someone can bestir themselves to come to your aid soon.

    • 3 Jeannine October 28, 2009 at 12:01 pm

      Yip Ian, Linda said it – they can get a few bucks from the scrap metal merchants. Entire streets in neighbouring Knysna have been hit.
      So annoying – a few dollars of copper and we have hundreds of dollars worth of damage. I’d give them 10 bucks not to steal it!
      Linda, can see you making like an Eskimo to flush your toilet – too funny!

      • 4 shoreacres October 30, 2009 at 1:45 pm

        The Nanook of the North episode was pretty funny. The best part was that, when the pipes burst, they flooded the concrete courtyard and we were able to ice skate. Why someone living in Houston would still have ice skates is another issue – but those northern roots take some time to shrivel!

  3. 5 shoreacres November 3, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Thought you might get a kick out of this. Remember our back-and-forth about gum boot dancing, Shosholoza, and etc? I just looked at my stats page and there are 27 – count ’em – 27 folks who’ve found our discussion through terms like “dig, dig, digging in the street”, “shosholoza”, “sosolosha”, South Africa musical, and so on.

    Apparently there’s a teacher somewhere who’s assigned a class a project 😉 I love the internet!

    • 6 Jeannine November 4, 2009 at 10:53 am

      It is a wonderful thing! I love checking out what searches result in hits on my blog, sometimes it’s completely not what you expect. My number one post is about the boomslang in my garden – seems a lot of people google ‘boomslang’. My kids tell me they used boomslang venom in one of the Harry Potter movies, so that could account for the interest.


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