I have finally figured out – somewhat late in the day both figuratively and literally speaking, how to use the Earthborn paint. Firstly…..don’t let me paint with it. Much as it hurts to say this S seems to be much better. Secondly, water it down. Considerably.
This afternoon, returning home from a mornings shopping…more about that tomorrow, I turned the key and entered an empty house. The silence was delicious. P, arriving this morning bearing a mammoth pack of Maltesers for O as a parting gift along with the ineffective instruction to “eat your breakfast first…” had left for the last time. C would not be returning until the end of the month. K could be anywhere but was clearly not here. I had the house to myself.
I donned painting gear, by now with little of the original material showing for splatters prompting the cheeky remark from a delivery man yesterday once he’d realised I’d been painting the ceiling of “so that explains why you are wearing it”, and gathered together the necessary equipment. Yesterday’s coat on the hallway was looking ominously patchy so, with déjà vu descending, I took my time and studiously applied a thick layer. To no avail. Patches seemed to appear immediately and despite swift identification and reapplication, others were created. The wall looked worryingly as if it would dry to a similar finish as the previously documented hellish kitchen ceiling.
Mid application there was a knock at the door. It was K.
“Hi.” I said, surprised.
“Alright?” he asked “Is P here?”
“No” I replied, “he said he wouldn’t be here long today.”
“Nice of him to tell me” he muttered, making his way inside.
“He said he would be back to help you with the bath….and so you can collect his tools.”
“Oh, he did, did he? Well I’m here now and I don’t see him. Fat lot of good he is going to do helping me with the bath.”
I turned back to my painting, refusing to risk the burnout of essential brain cells by trying to figure out why the two of them didn’t correspond directly.
“How are your muscles today?” K said finally.
“You need me to help?”
“I can’t get this bath in alone. It’s light, but awkward.”
“They are fine,” I said, my painting timetable due to be disrupted yet again …this time albeit for a good cause. “I’ll help.”
On the caveat, however, that he let me finish my wall to give it the best chance of being patch free…..not that it looked very likely…..
“We didn’t expect you today” I said from one end of the baths ‘skirt’. Moving it into position K replied.
“Well S called and sounded put out so I left the job I was in and came here. Can’t have that. Can’t have you upset.”
“It’s just that we have O” I explained “and bathing him is easier than showering.”
“I know. I know.” He shifted the skirt in an attempt to line it up. “But you know, really you should have caulked the skirting first. I was trying to give you time”
“I’ll caulk the skirting later…” I promised “…once I’ve had a bath.”
While he fixed the skirt in place I moved my painting paraphernalia upstairs to make a start on the landing ceiling.
“I’ve never used one of these extension poles” I shouted through to him as I tried to manoeuvre it along the ceiling somewhat clumsily. “I’m not too sure about them”
I wasn’t about to be allowed to have much practice. Within minutes I was summoned back to the bath installation…..once K had found the bath C had moved from snug to the kitchen. Following a short interlude during which K colourfully expressed his displeasure at a relocation which caused us an inconvenient three more steps, the two of us navigated the inner section of the bath, to be dropped inside its ‘skirt’, up the stairs with the strict instruction to be “careful of my walls!”.
“I’m glad its you rather than G in here” K said referring to his large framed colleague, “or we would be pushed for room but I need you to lift one end of the bath while I figure out how to connect the waste underneath it.”
Dutifully I lifted one end while K rummaged around trying to get hold of elusive pipework. Finally a beaded forehead reappeared from beneath.
“No good. Let’s try another way. Lets have you on the other end”
I did as asked. His head disappeared once again whilst my biceps trembled. Emerging once more he shook his head. Exasperated, we lifted the bath from its skirt and set it down alongside its outerwear.
“Why not lengthen the pipe?” I asked, nodding towards the white flexible tube hanging like a tail from the baths plughole.
“We could do. I’ve another bit here I could join on.” He ripped away some packaging and set about affixing it.
Once on, we dropped the bath back inside its skirt for a second time before I spent another few hour-feeling-minutes taking its weight as K blindly rummaged beneath. Eventually the waste was connected and we lowered the bath down into position.
“I’ll be having a long soak tonight….” I said excitedly before remembering my half finished paint job on the landing ceiling. I picked up the roller and busied myself perfecting my extension-pole techniqe (long way yet to go….)
Meanwhile all was quiet in the bathroom.
Eventually K spoke.
“I’m not sure how to test it” he said.
“How would you normally?” I called in.
“Well I wouldn’t normally put one of these in.”
“Ah.” I continued on, confused and disheartened to boot…..my extension-pole-wielding ability, or lack of, sending the roller every which way in a streaky claypaint mess.
“Run a bit of water and see if it leaks.” I suggested eventually,
His head popped round from behind the door.
“See if it leaks where?” he asked.
“Downstairs.” I said, “Into the extension. Alternatively you could do as the foreman’s plumber did and not bother. When I’ve had my bath Ill pull the plug and empty the whole lot down there.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of” he sighed and, head disappearing into the bathroom once more finally called out.
“While I lift, you pop this cardboard under the waste. We’ll run the water and then see if there’s any drops on the card.”
“I’m glad the roles have changed” I said “and its you lifting, not me.”
With the experiment showing no signs of a leak, K packed up to go.
“I’ll have a bath tonight” I said “so you’ll get a call if it leaks.”
“I won’t be coming back tonight,” he warned “woman in the bath or no woman in the bath.”
And with that he left, promising to return next week, (assuming there are no leaks in which case he’ll be back here…you mark my words….in a few hours) to finish off the rest…..the heated towel rail not yet connected, the cabinets not up and silicone between sink, loo and wall not yet applied.
Quite why this bathroom has to be done in dribs and drabs I don’t know. But I can confirm there were at least no drops. My luxurious bath spent with wine, mag and scented candles….following a lightbulb moment and late night paint session applying an extra-hydrated coat and achieving a patch-free finish as it occurred to me that the scar marks being left on our walls when drips of Earthborn land on them is because the walls are still drinking in moisture meaning the previously applied neat coats are simply too heavy….was a delight. Earthborn success and a bubble bath? The perfect end to a long day.