Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!

Dead French People, the Great Flood, and Ninja Turtles

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Finally.  Some down-time to relax – Les Miserables is over and the big February multi-painter face painting jobs are done. I now have a couple of clear weekends to get the house sorted out after a water main break in the basement last week, clean all of the kit and equipment and hair goods used in the show, as well as do some housework which has been woefully neglected over the last three months.

Les Mis was AWESOME!!  I got a chance to watch the show myself the last Friday, which was, coincidentally, last Friday.  I listened to the whole show every night from the make-up room, loved the music but it didn’t make me cry.  Watching the performances… That made me cry.  Several times.  I used three… THREE… tissues.  Did you know… EVERYBODY DIES?!?!???  Well, except the evil Thenardiers.

The Wedding

There was a cast of 60 which made the big numbers quite spectacular.

Can you Hear left

I cried here – Eponine died.  Sniff.

Eponine dies

And here are my Lovely Ladies.  Such a lovely bunch they were – all of them got right into it and it was great to see how disgusting we could make them every night.  The last night one had the pox.  It was gross.

Lovely Ladies

The production broke all the theatre records for bums in seats and gross sales.  And had nothing but rave reviews.


While working on Les Mis I also had two large Face Painting jobs – Family Day at Muskoseepi Park with six painters and the Timbits Jamboree with four painters last Sunday.  I thought I had it all under control but had one person who had committed to do both of those events bail on me.  Then I was scrambling to replace her.  Luckily I was able to get all the spots filled.

Ninja Turtles were very very popular.  And Skulls.  And Tigers.  And the lines of people waiting to be painted were never-ending.  Both events required the line be cut-off and people turned away.  But we painted soooo many people.

Next big job is the Easter Eggstravaganza with eight painters – and one design!

And in other news… I woke up at 2 a.m. last Wednesday (Feb 18th), suddenly, not knowing why.  I don’t usually wake up at that time of night.  I actually felt nauseous as I had been deeply asleep.  I got up assuming I had to “go”… and as I stood up I heard, what can best be described as… Niagara Falls.

My stomach hit the floor…  NOT AGAIN! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY NOT AGAIN??????????!!!!

I opened the basement door to the site of a soaking wet carpet at the foot of the stairs and the roar of rushing water… I, carefully, as I was still groggy from sleep, went downstairs to see…. THIS!






I tried to turn off the water main… which, of course, was directly in the flow of the water… wasn’t able to budge it, got completely drenched.  So back upstairs to call 24/7  Emergency Plumber (I had the number for the one I called back in November!)  At least this time I didn’t run around screaming and wake mom up.  She did wake-up when the plumber called back though.  He was there in about 20 minutes… meanwhile the water kept spewing.

At least it was the main line in and CLEAN water.

What had happened is an old water softener coupling, which had been capped off, broke.  Part of the “control” valve broke off and blew out.  The plumber told me he had never seen one of those things break before.  He cut it off and replace with pipe.  By 3:30 he was done and gone, I’d thrown all my towels down, pushed what water I could into the floor drain, plugged in my dehumidifier and turned it on high, moved racks and things out of the laundry room into the dry part of the basement and went back to bed.  After sending an email to my boss – letting her know I might be “late.”

In the morning I called a restoration company to come and suck up the water from the carpet.  It hadn’t reached the interior walls on the opposite side of the hallway thank goodness, but soaked the same drywall as the November hot water tank flood did.  Way more carpet was way wetter than the last time too.  Nothing was damaged content wise, just wet carpet.  The carpet at the doorway/foot of the stairs was completely saturated.  Luckily the insulation on the outside wall was dry.

I got two fans going, the dehumidifier emptied, and space heaters on to get the carpet dried out.  Got laundry going (trying to be careful not to overload my breakers!)  I discovered all my appliances have grounded plugs and my extension cords don’t… had to get my heavy-duty outdoor -40 rated 1000 foot (okay, that is an exaggeration, it isn’t a 1000 feet) cord from the garage just to plug-in the fan – it only had ONE plug of course.  Then made a run to Canadian Tire for more extension cords.

My space heater wasn’t on when I went down so I picked it up to check, turned it on and off a couple of times… wouldn’t turn on.  Then I dropped it!  Argh.  When I picked it up it rattled.  Sigh.  It was garbage day so off it went.  While at Canadian Tire I bought two new space heaters.  One super-duper one for drying out the carpet. It works really well!  Makes the carpet all nice and toasty.

The carpet seems to have dried out pretty well but I am leaving everything on until at least the end of the weekend to make sure it is dry as possible.

All the bins from Les Mis are stacked in a corner of the basement, and all the gear from the face painting jobs is sitting in my dining room awaiting cleaning… I have to sort, clean, and put away everything.  I have about 30 wigs and 20 sets of beards/mustaches to clean… and I really can’t start until I get the flood mess cleared away.

So you can understand why I am looking forward to a some “free” weekends over the next little while.

Author: Shannon Fennell

Multidisciplinary artist, world traveller, make-up artist, and cheese lover. I follow a low carb lifestyle to keep my diabetes in remission. Canadian expat in the UK.

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