This is hard isn’t it?
All this house renovation stuff. Let me catch you up.
About 3 blog posts ago, I told you that the bathroom was currently a mess, we had no ceiling and no floor. We’d knocked a storage cupboard (that once housed a boiler) out to create more space in the bathroom. I’d also decided to move the sink, get rid of the bath and put in a new shower. So far, so chaotic.
Three weeks later and really, we’ve made remarkable progress, but it’s still not finished. Not really, even nearly.
So I’ll just take you through how the past three weeks have been.
Firstly, we had to build a stud wall to cover up where the existing cupboard door was, we’d already lost the ceiling and when we took the bathroom tiles out we found all the plasterboard underneath was rotten. The whole wall had to be replaced. It should have been easy right?
But one trip to Wickes told us that the plasterboard (which was moisture resistant because, bathroom and therefore hella expensive) would not fit in the car so we would have to wait for delivery in a few days. Ugh, I absolutely hate waiting for things I’m so impatient.
Then whilst waiting for this, it was decided that it was a good time to move some pipes to accommodate the new sink, which led to several late nights standing under the hole in my living room ceiling shouting “IT’S LEAKING!” as water splashed unceremoniously from a bucket into my face.
We didn’t do it all on our own, the other half’s brother came for a whole week to help us out which was so kind of him even if it meant I was subjected to their Irish builder alter egos (complete with accents) relaying the progress of the bathroom to me.
I will say it now, in that week I spent more time in Toolstation, or Screwfix than anyone ever wants to spend. It was draining, it still is draining having to constantly run down the road because you need a new bit or a different kind of screw or tartan paint.
But it made me feel useful. I didn’t know how to rip an old bathroom out and put in a new one. I was just expecting it all to be done but you have to be seen to be helping and if anything it’s pretty sad sat twiddling your thumbs because you can’t really do heavy lifting and quite frankly you can’t be trusted with a drill.
It would have been a good opportunity to sit and sew some cushions or make some new prints but I felt guilty getting on with things when the boys were doing so much work upstairs on the house. But this also means that I’m not getting anything done that I need to and that’s a bit stressful.
It’s not all doom and gloom, one day I “went to work” with the other half which consisted of me learning to put some plasterboard up and then sitting on a stool and picking up all the dropped screws from the floor using the magnetic end of an extendable tape measure. Which let me tell you was a lot of fun.
But once again I was left feeling a little useless for not helping enough. I went to make some sandwiches. That appears to be my role.
In the next week, we managed to rebuild the ceiling and the floor and the other half plastered the whole room. Once again we were left waiting for it to dry so since we already took the bath out, we thought we could put a shower tray in. Simple? Nooooo.
The soil pipe runs through the house, the existing hole in the for the bath was too high for the shower tray so a new hole needed to be fitted for the waste pipe. The only problem was we had very little space and very tight angles for which to insert a long straight bit of plastic with no give. After about 45 minutes of staring, and measuring and bickering we did the only thing we knew how to do. We went to Toolstation.
And this is when I believe that my Dad sent me a miracle.
No no, wait I’m not exaggerating.
So there we were in deep discussions with our new friends, the Toolstation staff, about the kind of pipe we needed and how we were going get it in the soil pipe – another customer walked in, overheard our conversation and came over to inspect the waste part of the shower that we’d brought with us to see what fit. ” Oh that’s easy!” he exclaimed with the arrogance of someone that does this for a living and is looking at two bozos that do not, and yet are going to try do it anyway. “You just need a flexible pipe…hmm…yep thats 32ml thats what you need then connect it to a 42 and it should just fit right down if you put a boss strap on it, easy!” he said.
“But you’ll never find that now at 5pm. You want a plumbers merchant and you won’t get it now.” Warned the random stranger with knowledge of shower trays.
We felt defeated, this was more waiting and I hate waiting. “Why are there no plumbers?” Moaned the other half, “Everytime I come here there’s at least two plumbers!”
Just then, in walked another man. I stared at him, he looked uncomfortable, I stared some more.
“Daniel” I whispered to the other half, “Daniel, that man’s t-shirt says Plumber on it”.
We called him over, explained our situation. He looked a little shell shocked at being accosted in such a fashion but he nodded and when he did speak a very strong Italian accent came out.
“Waita minute, I-a think I-a have-a some-a-thing-a” (That was Italian, could you tell?)
He toddled off to his van and he returned, surrounded by bright light and a chorus of angels with the part we needed in his hand.
“Bloody hell” The shower tray fitter said, “You two need to buy a lottery ticket.”
And that is the story of how my dad sent me an Italian plumber.
Until next time