It's never ideal needing an after-hours tradie on New Year's Eve is it?

But somehow we found ourselves in this situation when my friend and I had just sat down to a glass of ''Thank goodness 2018 is over!'' bubbles.

The kids had been having water fights while we prepared dinner and their water escapades had evolved to my children's old party trick of getting the unsuspecting guests to stand in the enclosed vege garden area before turning on the sprinkler system.

It's always a laugh when water shoots out from all angles, soaking the victims.


This night was so hot that my kids decided they wouldn't mind getting drenched too. They soon tired of this and moved onto another activity and a half-hour later, I noticed they'd left the sprinklers on.

Heading down to the hose to turn it off, I also noticed water gushing out of the faucet, which was fast flooding the backyard and seeping into the workshop.

Turns out a child had broken the sprinkler system while trying to turn it off and was too scared to tell anyone.

Meanwhile, I had a crisis on my hands. Nothing was working to shut the water down.
We couldn't stand there filling buckets with water all night and dinner was now burning.

It was 7.30pm; anyone capable of fixing it would be at least several drinks into their New Year celebrations and unable to drive. Besides, who would want to take on a job like that at such a time?

My friend put a plea out on her Facebook page, along with my offer to chauffeur and throw in a bottle of rum, as well as payment, while I crawled under the house to turn off the mains.

Yep, didn't think this year could get much worse, I thought to myself as I ploughed head-first through thick cobwebs in the dark. I emerged with spiders in my hair – usually a terrifying prospect but, right then, I didn't care.

We served the happily oblivious kids their dinner and went back to our mission. It was either restore the water, sans leak, or evacuate the house.


I resorted to the yellow pages' after-hours plumbers. After apologising profusely to him for upsetting his New Year's evening, our lovely, affable plumber dropped what he was doing and came out straight away and saved the day/night.

Not a fan of New Year celebrations at the best of times, I was no longer in the mood for a drink but my friend (and the plumber!) insisted.

She and I managed to last until midnight and I made a last-minute playlist, installed my disco lights and called the kids up from their movie at 11.50pm for an impromptu disco before heading out onto the deck to join in everyone else's countdowns and fireworks.

Then, we promptly hit the hay, keen to put that year to bed. It was only the next morning I realised I still had the cobwebs in my hair, the spiders having long scuttled away.