You probably thought we’d finished with all that house renovation stuff. Perhaps you imagine us out there in our fully finished yard, sipping a chilled white wine as we wonder how to fill the long hours between lunch and dinner. It’s not quite like that.
The bathroom renovation involves tearing down heavy, impossibly unbreakable layers of concrete which some ham-fisted type many years ago slapped thickly onto every surface, floor to ceiling. It certainly held the tiling in place, as well as fixing irrevocably all the ancient plumbing. It has to go, though two powerful drills have already given up on the task. When we finally manage it – and we almost have – it’ll replaced by some decent insulation, a new surface and tiling. But it’s so frustrating, that any displacement activity will distract us.
On Monday, for instance, for no reason other than it seemed a good idea, we set about removing one of the doors into the old cold rooms in the former butcher’s shop. Now it’s become a store room, the space simply doesn’t need to be protected by a fortress-like door 13 cm. thick, with chunky prison-grade hinges, and heavy door handles some 20 cm. long.
Wooden doors, thickly insulated and finished off with a heavy sheet of protective asbestos (aagh!) are not easy to manoeuvre. Screws, in position maybe 50 years and probably held in place by crusty layers of congealed blood and pig fat don’t respond well to gentle teasing by a screwdriver. We togged up in steel-capped boots and wrestled.
And eventually won. Then the asbestos back of the door had to come off. The tip won’t take asbestos, and the dangerous substances depot won’t take wood. Finally, using thick and sturdy planks, we had to lever the door onto the trailer and trundle off to the tip. It’s gone.
And so it was back to the bathroom yesterday. If you pride yourself on your DIY standards, stop reading now. Yes, that includes you Kalba and Sharon. Here is a picture of how we’ve worked out where the floor tiling should go. Lots of paper cut-outs, held in place by the contents of a book case. Well, when you’ve got an odd-shaped room, with not a straight wall in sight, what else to do?