‘I’ve had a good run of bad luck’: Staying strong when life gets tough

Dec 23, 2021
All that hot water going to waste! Sue needed assistance and quickly. Source: Getty Images

Somebody upstairs doesn’t like me! Very early (12:15am) recently, I turned on the hot tap in the kitchen. The whole bloody tap handle sprung off, and my hot water was running down the drain. I had no idea where to turn the water off, so I left an emergency message on the park’s automated telephone system. I left another message. I was just about to ring a 24-hour emergency plumber when the park manager rang to say that someone was on his way.

He left at 12:50am. I went to bed to discover that my cat, Smee, had vomited on the carpet. I cleaned it up. I lay down in bed. Smee hopped up and proceeded to paw my face and arms. I put her out of the bedroom, only to have her then scratch on the bedroom door. I gave up on the idea of getting any sleep.

The water was to be turned off between 10am and 12pm. Given there was a glimpse of the sun, I decided to put the washing machine on. The bloody washing machine wasn’t working! Take me out to the paddock now …

All this came after I’d jammed my thumb in the bathroom door. Bloody hell, that hurt! My thumb turned all shades of black and blue, swelled, and I’ve not been game to take off my nail polish out of fear.

A bit of context for these dilemmas.

First, it’s not the first time my hot water tap has exploded. On prior occasions, it’s been the cold tap. That’s been ‘fixed’ so many times I’ve lost count, but the trouble has happened during the daytime when park staff are readily available, and I’m not paying for the lost water.

I do, however, pay for my hot water. That is fuelled by a large gas cylinder and I pay for its replacement when the cylinder is empty. It is already nearing time to replace it, a cost I could ill afford at the time.

You could only imagine the thoughts going through my mind and the dollar signs flashing before my very tired eyes. Not to mention, I’d got two people out of bed at some ungodly hour, for which I felt obligated to offer some compensation — a bag of Lindt chocolate ‘Teddy Bears’ was delivered to the office later that morning!

As for the washing machine, that is an even worse dilemma. My neighbour determined the issue was within the machine itself.

Consequently, I spent a good part of the morning trying to find a repairman who specialised in the repair of my brand of front-loader washing machine. They don’t come cheap — $143 for the call-out; $33 for each 15-minute period of time spent determining whether the machine is worth repairing, then the cost of the repair (if it’s possible, that is). Lookout ‘overdraft’, here I come!

Anyone who relies solely on a Government pension to finance their ‘existence’ will understand how difficult it is. There is nothing left to put away for a rainy day. My weekly rent absorbs half of my pension on its own!

I don’t have a ‘woe is me’ frame of mind. It is what it is, and I (like many others) have to deal with what life throws at us. But, f*** me, does it have to be so bloody hard? Whoever said these are our ‘twilight years’ — pig’s arse!

By the way, my squashed thumb is no longer throbbing. In fact, it’s inconsequential, in the scheme of recent events. But if you add to this sorry state of affairs that the microwave carked it a couple of months ago and — at the time of writing — it was bucketing down, then there really is truth to the saying that ‘there will be days like these’.

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