I know my limits, sometimes, and I know I don’t do renovations. I’ve lived through my parents’ renovations and my Nanna’s renovations and it’s not for me. My neighbour nearly had a nervous breakdown doing hers and a friend said her renovation was far worse than having cancer – speaking from experience – and had permanently warped her view of mankind.
I only renovate when the house portion in question has actually stopped functioning. A couple of years ago it was time to bid goodbye to the old kitchen and bathroom. I had to send my husband to Afghanistan for six months to get it done with the least discussion. I got in a kitchen and bathroom company and told them to tell me what I wanted. I agreed, with the proviso that whatever they installed had to be extremely hard wearing. I don’t want to have to do it twice.
The inside bathroom had a toilet which had been condemned by the last plumber as being unrepairable, a rotting vanity, a peeling bath and a completely unworkable shower curtain arrangement.
A couple of chaps turned up this morning to remove it. “Expect them between nine and ten” said the bathroom company. Which, as you all know means that’s the exact time of the day they’re guaranteed not to turn up. They arrived at ten forty eight, with a gripping story of flat tyres and bent axles. “Are you keeping the bath?” they asked. What, the cast iron one with the wobbly feet, the chipped enamel, that sucks all the heat out of the water? No way. “Put it out on the grass, and I reckon someone will come past and take it”. It lasted less than ten minutes before it had a new and grateful owner. Sucker.
One of the practicalities of a renovation is stopping the dogs from escaping. I stayed with them out on the back verandah. Harry’s normal tactic for removing an obstacle in his path is to sit beside it and determinedly lick it. He went one step further with the cardboard box I’d put up to block the dog door.
Apparently the tiles had been simply glued on to the original hexagonal tiles underneath, explaining why the bathroom floor was higher than that of the rest of the house. I was slightly tempted to keep some of the original tiles, but what would I do with them? They’re just octagonal and terracotta coloured. Let them go.
And now I must call the bathroom fitting company who were going to deliver my new bathroom last Friday. Then Monday lunchtime. Then how about Wednesday? No, I said, I really need them Tuesday at the latest. Oh all right, you can have it Tuesday. I called them at lunchtime to check my bathroom was on its way. “Yes, the truck will be there a bit after four”. Here it is dark, the children full of sausages and gone to tennis and nothing to fill the aching void of bathroom. This is why I don’t do renovations. Look out, I’m putting on my terse voice.