Bathroom Chronicles, Part 10
The bath has arrived, as promised by the lovely people at Parisi. Although I admit I did have a few last-minute doubts.
When the Chinese government went all Trumpy and started Tweeting fake pictures of Australian soldiers killing kids, I thought, “here we go, I’m going to be washing out of a bucket for the next six months.”
But, no. The bath has defied pandemics and politics and is safely ensconced in it’s designer-defying space.
At time of writing, we are so close to completing our bathrooms that it hurts. The waterproofing has been added to the most showered-on parts of the Venetian plaster. And next it will be the shower screens, silicon around the edges, hand sprays, towel rails, final touch-ups and we’re done.
The week didn’t start so well, it has to be said. A truck crash saw our shower screens smithereened so it was back to the manufacturer to start again on that.
Did you know the best way to break a shower screen is to tap the edge with a hammer? Or, perhaps, have the truck carrying it involved in a motorway bingle.
During this process, I have realised that tradespeople are the most optimistic humans on the planet.
As a writer, someone will ask when you’ll have that manuscript or feature delivered? And you calculate the thinking time, the writing time, the re-thinking time, the re-writing time, the going back to the start time, and then you add 20 percent.
One of my last bosses (before I became unemployable) once said “Always under-promise, over-deliver.”
Some tradies do exactly the opposite. You ask, say, when will that kitchen be installed? They then calculate the shortest time possible in which the cupboards, sinks and benchtops will arrive, assume that the plumber, electricians and joiners will all be available exactly when they are needed, and for precisely as long as required, add up the times, then trim a bit off for a fair wind and a healthy dose of luck.
Our guys are a bit more realistic but, if you understand that the start of every job is dependent on the previous one finishing on time, then factor in the domino effect of a bath, for instance, being held hostage by an international trade dispute and dock workers’ industrial action, there can be few over-promises that won’t be under-delivered at some point.
This is the nature of the beast and that’s why it’s good to hire people on the basis of personal recommendations rather than the glossiness of a big company’s brochures. A brochure won’t go and collect the tiles when the shop is about to close and the tiler is coming first thing in the morning.
Sue reminded me today that this all started because I wanted a more substantial door for “my” bathroom, which is also the guest toilet. That morphed into a bathroom renovation, which grew into two bathroom renos, both of which are almost complete.
The door remains untouched.
One thing I did get was a hand-held toilet spray, which I see a lot in Asian hotels as a much more hygienic alternative to toilet brushes. That’s how I plan to use it, ignoring it’s Australian name of “bum gun”.
So I’m happy. The bath, the last big item, is here. The last bits and pieces of tapware are waiting to be installed (which will take about five minutes – three if you ask the tradies).
The plumber and the shower screens are coming on Thursday (traffic permitting). Dare we dream?
I feel the arrival of the bath deserves some processional music. How about some Handel with a Celtic twist: “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (in Galway)” by Frankie Gavin and De Dannan.
Should that be Bathsheba? Or Handel’s Water Music? Never mind.