Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Will anything to do with this house purchase ever go to plan?  No surveyor between 0900hrs and 1100hrs as planned.  By 1530hrs, I contacted the Estate Agent and the Financial Adviser.  No response from either so walked up to the Estate Agent's.  They kindly rang the surveying firm to find that the survey was booked in for next Monday, 22nd, because we were on holiday apparently.  Not sure how that happened as I have email evidence from the Estate Agent talking about this Tuesday, S took a call on Saturday talking about this Tuesday but the Financial Adviser has an email from the building society that clearly talks about 22nd.  Chinese whispers and too many cooks, I think.  Anyhow, we're on for Friday so back to slaughtering goats and carrying around cockerel's feet .

Of course, everyone knows their Von Moltke and the fact that no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.  And so it is when bathrooms meet builders.  The plan was simple: replicate the bathroom that we already have.  So the red rubber tiles would be removed, followed by the plywood, to reveal the old Georgian floor, which we would lovingly restore with wax and elbow grease.  Then we would put a dado round and panel with butt 'n' bead.

Red Rubber Tiles...

The tiles and plywood came up to reveal not very nice, fairly modern, narrow planks which were covered in staples.  We could remove them, they said, in a tone designed to make me say no.  And then see how the boards look.  But it will take ages.

...Not Nice Floorboards

...Still Not Nice Floorboards When Close Up...

We could paint them white, I thought, like in the Heritage Bathrooms brochure.  That might look OK.  It might also look cheap and nasty, not giving the wow factor that we are seeking.

...Everyone Agree That This Hasn't Got the Wow Factor So That I Don't Have to Suffer Weeks of Self-Doubt...

Then the plumber suggested that we go to the nearby reclamation yard to see what they had on offer.  They had some older pine boards with a good grain and they were 7" wide.  I tried to 'phone S.  The plan was to ring once, if no answer, ring again and he would endeavour to answer.  It didn't work.  The plumber texted him the photos, which meant that they exchanged messages for a while with S thinking it was me at the other end.  Luckily, S manfully retained his focus and didn't send any billet doux to the plumber. 

It was almost closing time at the reclamation yard so the plumber and I decided that I would go back to No.7 and phone S.  We decided that the pine boards were the solution.  I texted the plumber and asked him to pick up the boards in the morning.  The next day, I was just about to head up to the cashpoint to withdraw wads when the builder rang.  He was in the reclamation yard with the plumber.  In his view, the boards were no good.

Spot the Reclamation Yard Competition

Back to the drawing board.  There was another reclamation yard near Cirencester.  Or there were some nice old boards at the one in Devizes, according to the electrician.  Stress levels rising, I went to call S but had decided by the time I got back to to No.7 that I have a day job too and didn't have the time to drive around Wiltshire and Gloucestershire looking for the right floor.  It would have to be tiles.

So, after work, to B&Q to buy the tiles that we had identified as a contingency on Sunday.  Grey marble.  I'll have 20 boxes, my man.  Luckily, they only had the ten boxes under the display as, while he was gone to the storeroom, I noticed the price.  It would have cost £1000.  I phoned S.

A new plan.  He would go to his local B&Q.  I would hang around my B&Q until he phoned.  You quickly get bored.  Then, for the second time in my life, my mobile phone came into its own.  (The first was to help a poor lady whose car had broken down on a busy roundabout.)  S marched round his B&Q and I marched round mine, phones in hands.  After about fifteen minutes and a process of elimination, I bought the black porcelain and headed home.

...Black Porcelain Tiles...

But this, of course, would now dictate the look of the bathroom and it wouldn't be like our current one, that's for sure.

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