Today I finally managed to get some paint on the lounge walls though, having started with a thinned mist coat on the ceiling, there was significantly more going on me than the plaster. After a morning spent cutting in – running the paintbrush around the edges of the room with the idea that the roller then meets that line – I hadn’t long been rollering when I saw, through a paint dotted window, the arrival of our plumber K carrying long lengths of wood destined to become our new shower wall.
“Hello” K said surprised, the door opening before his raised hand had been given the chance to knock. Surveying my attire he added “Have you seen those paint pads?”
Staring back at him, the white spots on my black tracksuit, face and hair making me look like some kind of reversely spotted Dalmatian, I retaliated with mock indignance.
“What are you trying to say K?”
“Well, my daughter and I were watching the TV yesterday…and we saw the pads advertised. She said ‘Dad they can’t be that good can they?’ But I must admit…if anyone was to try one it should be you”
“Thank you. I’ll bear that in mind.” I said before signalling to him where he could walk without damaging C’s newly laid tiles. Returning to my rollering I called out,
“Don’t escape K. I need to talk to you at some point about bathroom floors….and then something more problematic”
I heard him negotiate a crouching, adhesive spreading C before ascending the stairs as I did the same up my ladder.
“Right ‘ho” he called back before adding, the thumping rhythm of his footsteps not missing a beat,
“See you’ve got the tiles in right today, C. Think I liked it better the other way”.
The bathroom floor discussion was going to be a fairly simple one. We have been quoted a surprisingly excessive amount for the marmoleum – a product we had chosen both for its green credentials (so why are we surprised at the cost …?) and its ideal bathroom suitability being waterproof, soft and warm underfoot and hard wearing. To put it in perspective ……lino is coming in more expensive than the hallway tiles. Additionally it would appear it isn’t as hard wearing as we thought as an emailed warning from the company regarding its tendency to scratch combined with supporting evidence in the form of the offcut we put down three times in the Worlds Smallest WC has made us rethink. It’s not often that I’m found in anything other than a paint splattered tracksuit nowadays but allow me to dream for a moment that one day I might dash into the bathroom in heels for, say, a squirt of perfume on my way out to somewhere more thrilling than B&Q…the subsequent discovery of a pierced dotted line tracing my flurried journey around the bathroom might go someway to taking the sheen off both the floor and my evening. Therefore tiling in slate is now our preferred option with K being asked to cost out the additional labour.
The more problematic issue to which I referred is linked to the discovery of our low amperage rating which is likely to trip our electric as energy guzzling oven, hob, fridge (and the rest) pull on an insufficient supply. I said a few days ago that it might only bother us at Christmas…but after some more technical calculations it turns out its likely to trip as often as bikini clad nightclubbers in Pacha so a solution of some kind or other does need to be found.
The problem we face is that, until the grid or electricity supplier conducts their site visit, we are worrying about the unknown. We have no idea if they will come, flick a switch and be done. Or whether they’ll come, change some cable, bill us and be done. Or whether they’ll come, dig up our front patio for access, charge us more and be done. Or whether, similar to the Finally Appearing Gas Man, they will come and tell us nothing can be done at all. Until we are clearer nothing else in this house is ever going to be ….so once again a hiccup in our timeline is knocking the rest of our plans down like dominoes.
Take for example the hallway which S, C and I discussed in length this morning. When we start to get down towards the kitchen end we begin to limit access, should we need it, to the wiring running under the floor to the fuse box. The upshot of our conversation is that C, annoyingly, will need to stop about level with the stairs, leaving the rest for a later date when we are all more electrically enlightened.
The other idea now under consideration is whether we can in fact get gas to the island, as disruptive and destructive as that may be. Whilst we establish the possibilities we can at least prepare for it, hence a series of conversations S began yesterday with firstly the hardware shop to see if there is a gas hob with a similar footprint to our induction one and then to the worktop people to find out if the few milimetres difference can be accomodated in the aperture they are cutting. My job this afternoon was to talk to K about whether getting pipework for gas to the hob – as an absolute last resort – would be possible.
Making K a coffee, conversations like these seem always to require one if only to stare into as the mind whirs, I relayed our situation.
“Oh blimey M” was his immediate reaction before setting down his mug and peering into both the boiler and utility cupboards to remind himself of the positioning of the pipework which, blessedly, he put in. After much frowning and scratching of the head, eventually he spoke.
“It might be possible. The floor in the cupboard would have to come up then if the joists ran this way we might find a void…I could get some pipe on a flexi to the island perhaps….”
“Don’t say any more” I said quickly, as I pushed away the thought of everything coming up and out again. “If we know its a plan Z then that’s good. Hopefully it won’t come to that”
“It will all be alright” he said, looking pityingly at my worried face.
“It affects everything” I sighed “C and I were trying to work out what he could be doing if he couldn’t lay tiles this week…”
“Tidying up might be a start” K interrupted with a nod towards the snug. “There’s plenty here to do.”
That may well be….but most of what’s left will fall now to S and I ….and with that in mind back up my ladder I went to finish my mist coat…hoping that K would be right and all would be ok.