Friday, August 05, 2005

Tears before bathtime

I am off to the sea-side today for a (hopefully) relaxing weekend. Scrappino is there, spending his summer holidays being looked after by my folks and I've been left behind in the smoke so that I can go to work. Or, more accurately, I've been left behind in the dust.

My plumber-cum-builder (not the one who quoted me seven grand for old rope) is currently in the process of gutting my old bathroom and fitting a brand spanking new one. He's spent three days ripping off old tiles, tearing down wallpaper, dismantling cisterns and covering the flat with a thick layer of dust in the process. I hate to be flippant - but my home is now not unlike the nuclear wastelands of Hiroshima the day after they dropped the A-bomb. (Although, perhaps today is not the best time to make this comparison?)

I've been looking forward to the new bathroom for ages. And although I knew there would be a bit of upheaval during the fitting process, I felt I was prepared for the disruption. In fact, I expected it to be quite fun. You know. All reckless spending from the Dolphin catalogue and inappropriate jokes about ball-cocks. But the reality has been a bit different. Every day since starting work on the bathroom, the plumber has called me at work to let me know of another disaster. First it was the state of the walls. When he ripped off the tiles and wallpaper he discovered that the plaster underneath was crumbling in his fingers and he's had to strip the walls to the bare brick. Cue two extra days added to the Estimated Job Length. Next, he called to say that there was a delay in taking out the old bath. He can't turn off the water to the flat because of some problem with the tap on the mains and he might have to call out the Water Company. (The same company who were responsible for this fiasco, so I'm not holding my breath.) So that's another two days added to the Estimated Job Length. Finally, he called yesterday to let me know that the cowboys who fitted the central heating to my flat have used some kind of twisted piping system that will need to be pulled out and replaced. Unfortunately, he can't do this himself as he's not a 'Registered Heating Consultant". Luckily, he has a friend who is on the register (presumably not in the sex offender sense) and he can fit the job in next week. But I'm beginning to wonder if it was all worth it.

My tolerance levels are decreasing in inverse proportion to the Estimated Job Length. Every time the phone rings at work I have to brace myself for another plumbing catastrophe. My nerves are shattered. I'm starting to feel like a walking game of Buckaroo. I'm taking on all these DIY calamities one at a time and I never quite know which one is going to make me flip. What I could really do with is a nice long soak in the bath. But of course, now that the walls and floor have been stripped, I can't do that without flooding my downstairs neighbour's flat with hot water and Radox bubbles. So I am off to my folks for a dust-free weekend and a long dip in their lovely new bath. I've even phoned ahead to make sure the immersion heater is on. And I might well have to extend the Estimated Soak Length.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just think when its all over you can sit back, no lay back i think its all been worth it! Lovely bubbly.

3:43 pm  

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