During my stay with my son and his family up in Scotland, the sorry saga of the shower was easily forgotten. Of course, it was back to reality on my return on the Wednesday. On the Thursday morning two men arrived at 8.00am, again a plumber and his mate. I showed him the depression in the floor by the door.
“Hmm. Looks like its rotted your floorboards love.” (we all call each other love in Yorkshire!) “We’ll be taking the shower tray up anyway as we need to do the job right, so we’ll see how bad it all is underneath then!”
“We can’t get you any tiles like these either, it’ll be plain white ones, and I’ll have to take your vanity unit out to tile behind there! Just give us a shout if you need to use the toilet won’t you, and we’ll make ourselves scarce for ten minutes! Oh and this door will have to come off!”
Geez! What next? He informed me it would be at least two days of a job, maybe going into next week, but he would rather take his time and do the job right than rush it. They began by taking the bathroom door off, then the shower tray came up and proved to be full of water, he showed me where the water had been getting in through a crack in the seal around the edges. Cloths were placed everywhere on the bathroom floor to mop up the water and they had thoughtfully placed a dust sheet over the carpet in the hall.
I honestly think I was in some kind of shock. How long had this been going on? Visions of the shower tray becoming heavier and heavier as it filled with water then prompted ghastly visions of either K or myself stepping into the shower one morning, hearing a loud crack as one of us disappeared down ( rather in the fashion of a lift) into the downstairs flat bathroom below! The old guy living below us would have had a shock! Two more days at least of washing at the sink! Two more days of bathroom clutter piled up in the lounge! I couldn’t believe it. It was like being in some sort of ongoing nightmare.
K arrived back home from respite in the afternoon. I had told her on her mobile to have a bath before returning home. We busied ourselves unpacking her case and then getting her washing done. Fair enough, they worked all day until 5.00pm. Before leaving, he connected the vanity unit up again so that we could at least get washed at the sink. He had replaced the floorboards that were rotten and redone the back wall. The bathroom looked such a mess. All those lovely blue tiles were now gone. I could have wept. K as always seemed to be enjoying the whole sorry saga as every time she walked past the bathroom edifice (for there was no door there) she kept saying to them “Alright guys?” which began to grate on my already frazzled nerves a little.
“We’ll be back first thing in the morning! “ he assured me as they left. “We’ll do our best to get it finished tomorrow if we can, but I can’t promise anything! I don’t want to rush it, I want to do it right!” Hmm. Well yes. But it was us who were having to ‘rough’ it! I did agree with him though, I did want the job doing right, we did not want a repeat performance of this sorry saga ever occurring again, at least not as long as we were residing there.
The morning after, they duly arrived bang on 8.00am and began to graft away. They had to go out for some more tiles and a new shower tray half way through the day. Some of the tiles were in place behind the vanity unit but I was a little annoyed when they packed up and went home at 3.00pm that afternoon. (The England match was on.) He assured me he would finish the job definitely on the Monday, and again reconnected the vanity unit so that we could get a strip wash at the sink over the weekend. Sigh.
I honestly think I was numb to all of the devastation by this time. What good would it do for me to get in a state? Look at K! She seemed to be viewing the whole thing as some sort of grand adventure and was relishing having two guys in the flat to flirt with! (hussy!) On the Monday he returned by himself, telling me that there had been a huge fire over Halifax way, so loads of them had been sent there to deal with that. He only had the tiling to finish and the shower cubicle to put back and assured me he could easily manage the rest that needed doing himself. K had gone to day care seeing as it was Monday, and I kept my mind off things by doing some washing and ironing.
True to his word, he completed the tiling and the shower cubicle but asked that we wait another day before showering to give everything a chance to set and dry out. I signed his chitty and then waved him goodbye as he left. Thank goodness it was all over! Okay, we would have to wait until tomorrow to have a shower, but at least it was all finished! I could move everything back into the bathroom at last! It did set me wondering though how we all take our modern lifestyle for granted. After all, its not all that long ago that everyone had to wash using just a jug and a bowl of water.
There were no baths or showers in those days and the toilet was an outside walk down to either the end of the garden or the back yard. Its true that today we take things for granted and we don’t realise how lucky we all are. I’m just glad that we have the shower back now and just hope it remains watertight for ever.