This is my follow-up email to the one I sent to management yesterday. Temporary rehoming has been tentatively suggested in response to that (though it might not be an available option), but it has no appeal anyway, as you’ll see (I need to sleep in my own profiling bed). But that’s just me – what of the other 30-odd residents?
UPDATE: yep, an update even before it’s published! The upshot of what you’re about to read is that they re going to replace my taps – which is all I really need – and otherwise leave me alone. I’ll still get noise from the adjacent flats, but I have earplugs so it’s not a problem! Well, OK, it is a problem, as it’ll go on for bloody weeks, but it’s far less of a problem than I would otherwise have had, and I can live with it. The question still remains, though – what of the others? They’re not all as bloody-minded as me 😉 :-
What follows is, I assure you, not me being awkward, it’s me trying to protect myself, and if possible others, from what I consider to be a massively ill-conceived scheme – major refurbishments like this simply should not take place while flats are occupied. There are just too many risk factors. The old system of refurbishing as flats become empty makes far more sense, with the exception of any work that must be carried out for safety reasons.
Rehoming is a thought but, unfortunately, I need my clockwork bed – it’s the only place I can sleep without pain. Or at all. There are too many health-related reasons why rehoming, even temporarily, isn’t feasible, unfortunately, though I appreciate the gesture, not least the risk of further infection in my leg from an environment over which I have no control (my carpet is sprayed with a sterilising solution, overnight, several times a week, and vacuumed daily – it’s why I bought the Dyson).
My leg is greatly improved, and I have hope that it will heal completely in time, but I still have open wounds which aren’t going to go away any time soon. And as Dr. Xxxxxxx so charmlessly put it, an infection can so easily become septicaemia, and kill me, and this could also happen if my living room becomes contaminated by the work in the kitchen (and I can’t see how it cannot). That’s a risk that it falls to the contractor to eliminate, not just for me, but for everybody, especially John, who also has lymphoedema.
It does seem to me that management have just thought great, we’ve got the money, let’s do this thing, without giving a moment’s thought to the logistics of the operation, or the enormous impact on those of us who actually have to live here, in what will, effectively, become a building site. It was bad enough when the heating system was replaced. I doubt those of us who where here then are keen for a repeat. Possibly three repeats.
It seems clear that no consideration has been given to the welfare of the residents at all, especially if this is to be followed (maybe), by new windows and new bathrooms – carrying out such major refurbishments in flats which are occupied is patently absurd and, given the noise, stress, and disruption it will cause, as well as other factors mentioned, potentially dangerous for some of us, at least.
Everyone I’ve sought opinions from on this issue – and they are many – thinks this scheme is lunacy. The more I think about it the more I tend to agree. It will be a logistical nightmare from the residents’ perspective.
Personally, I’d welcome more cupboards, and my taps are failing – have been for years with temporary repair after temporary repair, but stripping the kitchen to the bare walls and starting again really is overkill.
But assuming we’re all stuck with this massively ill-considered scheme (which has the potential to breach H&S regulations by putting residents who remain in situ in harm’s way, a question I hope to put to the HSE later today – it also exposes Riverside et al to the risk of legal action should anyone suffer harm), the contractors are, at the very least, going to have to clean up and make safe every day before leaving the site so that we can return to our homes after the work day is ended** – no matter whose flat they’re in, not just mine, residents’ safety must be the overriding concern.
**Though the question of where we go during the day still needs to be addressed.
Bottom line, they have to fit in with our needs, not we with theirs; this is our home, after all and most might have nowhere else to go. Let’s face it, during the day the flats are going to be uninhabitable – where does everybody go, not just me?
But let’s focus this more tightly – I can’t second-guess what other people want, let’s make this about what I need. My health is, at best, extremely fragile, I have to protect myself from anything that is going to make me worse.
As of right now I have no idea where I can go during the day (probably the lounge though it’s far less than ideal, as I’ve explained), but as well as quick access to a toilet I also need fresh water as I have meds to take at 10 points throughout the day, and at least basic kitchen facilities – I have to eat in the evening, at least (mostly I don’t eat during the day). In the evening I need to be back in my own flat and, eventually, my own bed – and my flat needs to be clean, free from contamination, and perfectly safe.
In the daytime I also need to remain connected to my online support – isolation from everybody in my life simply isn’t acceptable.
Talking to people who have actually had new kitchens installed, it seems that the electricity will need to be turned off at some point (I can’t think why in my case, but still…). It’s vital that I’m there before this happens as my new fridge freezer has to be shut down – simply flipping a circuit breaker can damage it irreparably and MUST NOT happen. It mustn’t be off too long either.
There is something else to consider, too. It takes me a long time to get ready of a morning, so there will be no access before around 10.00. Sorry, not trying to be awkward – like much else in my life, this is outside my control.