I'm not stupid. Well, at least I hope I'm not. I had a university education (circa 1972 - so a serious education and unlike the Mickey Mouse subjects that are available nowadays). I am bilingual in German. I speak a fair bit of French and I studied Latin up to the age of twenty. I adored biology at school and now soak up any TV programme on medicine available. I watch history and politics on TV too. I had a serious job in the Civil Service before becoming a mother. I can do house painting, a bit of carpentry, gardening, dress-making, build flat-packs, fix electric plugs or fuses and turn my hand to a range of other things. But one thing has completely floored me. Updating my bathroom.
Greg and I moved into this house in 1988.... thirty years ago. The house was not that old - built around 1970 - but it needed a fair lot doing to it. The previous occupant
was an old lady with dementia who had a penchant for throwing coffee at
the walls or urinating on her carpets. Our plan was to buy it cheap and do it up quickly before moving on. Ah yes, THAT was the plan. In reality, life got in the way. We did a quick fix as soon as we moved in, sloshing paint over anything that didn't move, completely renewing every carpet throughout and gutting the kitchen and building a new one ourselves. After that our jobs were so demanding that we tailed off a bit in impetus and then Kay came along and the house took a back seat. Then Greg retired and his alcoholism set in, sapping his energy and money, so the house waited patiently for us to resume its transformation. When Greg died in 2010, I set about trying to continue the work myself, slowly painting and decorating where I could. However, then my elderly mother was next in line to claim my undivided attention and the house got put on hold again. It's only recently that I have been able to take up the challenge again.
What is desperately needed is modernisation of the two bathrooms. They are stuck in a 1960s time warp. Kay's bathroom has a yellow bath and originally had grey tiles which Greg and I managed to cover within weeks of moving in with washable wallpaper. My suite is peach with white walls. With polystyrene tiles on the ceiling and carpeted floor, they definitely look ghastly. I have been promising Kay an update for years but now have finally got round to doing it. I've hired a plumber to do the job but then set about ordering the "furniture". What's so hard about that? Or so I thought. Maybe it's me, but there's a confusion of bathroom suppliers out there and each has a language of its own. Prices vary for what looks like the same thing. There's toilet projections, sprange sockets and autovents. Toilets are wall-hung or close-coupled. Baths with or without tap holes. Who knew bath wastes could be pop-up or click-clack. As for bottle traps - who'd want to trap a bottle down a basin? Square taps or round taps? Mono taps or duo taps? It's taken me four weeks to digest what is available and I've dragged the poor plumber over three times to discuss my confusion before I make a confident order with the supplier. Fortunately the plumber appears slightly confused too as my water pressure is low (something to do with the bar, but I don't think he's talking about the local pub), so he needs to consider which shower is suitable for the pressure and I've been let off the job of ordering the shower, as even HE is not sure whether power shower, electric shower, mixer shower or eco shower is the most suitable until he starts the job.
Before and after pictures will be forthcoming when the job is done. Meanwhile I'm feeling very much the dumb blonde with all my stupid questions.