Thursday, February 12, 2015

Some Days Are Like That

They might be sick, but they sure are cute!

The closing line of the popular American book, "Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day," is: "some days are like that."

Well, today was one of those days.

I have been cooped up in the house for four days straight with two sick kids.  The only time we have ventured forth was to go to the doctor - twice.  Unfortunately, this is not the first time we've been the last two months, month, fortnight, or even week.  In fact, we have been continually sick since we moved back into this flat early December once our walls were back on (sort of) post damp-proofing.

Last night a little light bulb went off when my mother-in-law helped me realise that, in addition to being exposed to the dust of construction work for two months straight, black mould formed as a result of the damp bricks being exposed is likely the reason we have been sick.

I noticed the most mould in our son's room, and had our au pair clean it promptly.  Turns out you are not suppose to do that with mould, especially black mould.  Our son and everyone who has also slept in the room since has gotten sick with upper respiratory issues.

I of course informed our manager of the issue when it happened, and she brushed it aside (is she not trained in these things?).  After doing more research last night, I wrote an urgent email to our manager asking for things to be inspected.  No answer.  All day.  This from the woman who has taken two months to (still) not get a simple broken valve on a radiator fixed so we have heat in the main area of the house, not to mention mismanaging (as in, not managing) the reconstruction of our place after the damp works and costing our poor landlords a pretty penny (and they'll never know, because she won't tell them).  (Her lack of professionalism in the past has stooped to avoiding my calls while homeless with a six week old wondering when we could get back into our flat. If anyone ever comes across a beautiful, perfect flat with a huge garden at a great price that will be managed by John D. Wood in London, don't walk--run--away.  Especially if a Ms. Kellie is assigned to you - a shame, as their letting/sales team is first rate.)

[rant over.]

In any event, the health of my family and my four and 22 month old (p.s. black mould has been known to be deadly and cause asthma) is left in the hands of an incompetent manager who doesn't seem to care enough to follow through. On anything.  I called Camden Council to see if we could get the flat inspected.  Yes, we could, but we need to give our landlords warning.  The whole process will take three weeks.  Translation=being sick for three more weeks.  Ug.

But even if and when we do get inspected, I run the risk of having our landlords not like being given black marks by the government and giving us our two months' notice.  How in the world do I navigate this situation?  Would be terribly ironic if a D lister manager could mismanage a property so badly that an otherwise very happy landlord and very happy tenant part ways over a property they both love.

Any suggestions on what to do would be more than welcome.

Our four month old weighs 18 pounds.  How did that happen!

Waiting for the doctor.

Gideon joining Esther in her tummy time.  Disregard Mt. Saint Laundry in the background.

It's hard to capture on camera, but this girl is always smiling, cooing, or, now, laughing - sick or no!


  1. To keep the mould at bay (not the ideal option as this should be rectified from the source) you need to wash the walls regularly with dilute bleach and air the room afterwards. This should help. Good luck!

  2. Yes spray areas with diluted bleach and that should help. Vinegar is another option but not as good. That is scary dangerous stuff, especially for babies. It might even be worth moving.

  3. Can you at least file a complaint with the Borough? What an awful situation for you and the babies! So sorry. We've been sick this month, too, but hopefully nothing to do with the flat. At least you were able to pinpoint the issue, I just hope you can get rid of it. xx