Thursday, May 14, 2009


He has. Properly broken. At least when I tried I just discommoded the hot water tap and it took the hobbits a mere three minutes to fix it – when they eventually came to look at it. But The Builder has really, really broken the bathroom!

He’s been doing a grand job on the bathroom, mind. He’s been cutting the stone tiles down on the patio with his Machine That Cuts Tiles and sticking them up in the shower recess. He’s finished painting the ceiling (it’s a beautiful cobalt blue) and he’s put one coat of sandy paint on the wall the radiator is going on. He’s not planning to paint the other walls until he’s finished boxing the pipes in.

So it was all going well yesterday evening. Until he dropped one of the tiles. And with a precision that would be astonishing had he done it on purpose, the tile fell, corner down, into the only tiny space which the dust sheet wasn’t covering. And put a hole in the shower tray!!!

You can see that a shower tray with a hole in it might not be entirely efficient.

Now we could, of course, buy a new shower tray. But it seems that this would involve dismantling the floor and removing the pipes and generally causing chaos and mayhem. It would also be extremely expensive. And time consuming. The Builder is going to try filling the hole with mastic and see if that fixes it. And I am going to buy some waterproof sea creature stickers to dot around the shower tray so you can’t see the mastic. I am also going to buy some fluffy cloud stickers to put on the blue ceiling. And The Builder wants a sun sticker as well.

There’s a little bit more tiling to do before the hobbits come back some time on Saturday to install the shower and the radiator. And the radiator wall needs another coat of paint (it’s not called sandy; the colour is “toffee cream” and is pretty much the colour that real vanilla ice cream is). So that’s The Builder kept busy tonight and tomorrow night!

Lindsey was moved, recently, to buy herself some hand painted reading glasses from a company in America which, for reasons best known to itself, will post to the UK but not to Australia. So she had them post the glasses to our place. Alas, the package attracted the attention of Customs and Excise who demanded that we pay VAT on the glasses. In itself, this would not have been too bad. But it meant that until we paid the tax the glasses were held in the custody of Parcel Force - who slapped on an additional EIGHT POUND handling charge (oddly, I had thought that they had been paid to handle the parcel when it was placed in the care of the American Post People!). Even that wouldn’t have been all that irritating – except that the only (that’s ONLY) Parcel Force office in the whole of South Yorkshire (which, apparently, mysteriously covers bits of Derbyshire and East Yorkshire as well) is in some completely remote part of Rotherham and requires a camel, a donkey and a Sherpa to get there. They would have delivered the parcel to our place but not only did it need paying for, it also needed signing for. They would cheerfully have delivered it on Saturday when there would have been someone home to sign for it. But that would have cost another TWELVE pounds!!!!!!! Was very much easier and cheaper to go and ransom it in person. But you really have to wonder why the (only) Parcel Force office is in such an out of the way place. Don’t they want visitors? I suppose it’s a mercy that they stay open until 7pm!

The people on the farm have agreed to sell us half a pig. It’s coming (in packets) next Wednesday evening. I must remember to turn the small freezer back on! They’re about to start doing lambs as well. I’ve ordered a whole lamb for when they’re big enough to go to the abattoir. You really can’t get more local than a farm that’s a five minute walk up the road. Not food miles but food feet :-)

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