The Plumber’s Crack


The photo above shows the extent of the additional space created in the kitchen. The red line surrounds the open floorspace that we had before. Between the red and the blue, the run of old units that incorporated the fridge. To the right of the blue line was the built in pantry.



Opposites attract. So they say. Inevitably, there will be marital ‘discussions’ along the way about how the house renovation should proceed. But we’ve held it together for almost 30 years now, so we can get through the small matter of a new kitchen. Can’t we? The latest topic for debate has been the plumber. Two of them came around to quote for the work. My choice was young, intelligent, companionable and highly recommended. Mike’s choice was… half the price.

Mike’s Plumber is a generously proportioned sort of guy who clearly enjoys a pint or two of an evening. In the absence of a waist there is little to prevent his trousers from riding down especially when he has head, shoulders and monkey wrench in the back of a cupboard trying to connect up a pipe. It is not a pretty sight.

Mike’s Plumber has constructed a run of pipework from the downstairs loo washbasin out into the hall, to supply the sink and the washing machine in their transitory home. To avoid drilling through the walls for what is (one fervently hopes) a temporary arrangement, the pipes pass through the doorway of the downstairs loo necessitating the removal of the door. Mike and I utilise the facilities offered by the bathroom upstairs. The builders have just taken to whistling. Loudly. Or going for a walk in the woods.


Can you see in the first photo the large damp patch, bottom right? We found it on lifting the rotten lino that once covered the old pantry floor. Just after this picture was taken our builder made an exploratory hole at the bottom of the wall. Mike put his hand through to the other side. It came out covered in water and mud. I have a feeling his plumber may be around for a while.


2017-11-07T14:02:06+00:00November 16th, 2012|Tags: |


  1. Sue November 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    You know, I am not jealous of you one little bit.

    • Jessica November 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm - Reply

      It’ll be worth it
      It’ll be worth it
      It’ll be worth it…

  2. simone November 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    The plumbers crack is just too much information!!! Sounds like the builder has opened a can of worms! Better that these things are found and sorted before the works are completed though isn’t it?

    • Jessica November 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm - Reply

      Sorry Simone, I tried so hard to describe it tastefully!
      It IS better that they’re found.. even better if they weren’t there to be found at all!

  3. Susan T November 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    I know it sounds like hard work now, but imagine yourself sitting in gleaming loveliness I was going to say very soon, but this is England. Just think of the photo opportunities.

    • Jessica November 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm - Reply

      I’ll leave the plumber out of the photos I think.

  4. rachel November 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Courage, mon brave! We are with you all the way. Trousers pulled up firmly under our armpits, of course.

    From Damp Cottage in Wettest Somerset.

    • Jessica November 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      Thank you Rachel.
      And that’s another thing. It’s cold and horrible down here today too.

  5. Denise November 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Just think what it will be like by Christmas…which Christmas doesn’t matter….does it?

    • Jessica November 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      Ham sandwiches all round I think..

  6. john November 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    wot no crack photo?

    • Jessica November 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm - Reply

      NO! You wouldn’t thank me. Honest!

  7. Em November 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    I know very well what those ‘discussions’ are like. Usually a complete waste of time!

    • Jessica November 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm - Reply

      The male brain is wired very differently, Em!

  8. CherryPie November 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    I am trying not to get a mental image of your plumber…

    Your kitchen will be worth all the differences of opinion in the end. I had mine done at the beginning of the year and I love it 🙂

    • Jessica November 16, 2012 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      Smart move, Cherry.

  9. Brismod November 16, 2012 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    I make the executive decision around here about the employment of trades and generally the eye-candy factor rates highly…ability and affordable price are the unexpected bonus! x

    • Jessica November 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Wise words. Mike’s Plumber is eye-popping, but definitely NOT eye-candy.

  10. Natalie November 16, 2012 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    You know, our ongoing renos are nowhere near as extensive as yours. But they’ve been going on since April and I’m SICK TO DEATH OF IT! I need to borrow your chant. It’ll be worth it…

    And you deserved the young, handsome, intelligent plumber. I had the world’s hottest electrician in here the other week. Sigh…

    • Jessica November 16, 2012 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      The young, handsome, intelligent plumber may yet get his chance. Me and The Crack are on borrowed time..

  11. BadPenny November 17, 2012 at 9:10 am - Reply

    I did a Blog post once about our then plumber’s head stuffed in the airing cupboard & all I could see was his behind. It led to some very funny comments & a friend who reads my blog & knows said plumber was in stitches ! Who knew plumbers could be so entertaining !

    I have a different plumber now who is so lovely. The other got way too expensive.

    • Jessica November 17, 2012 at 9:33 am - Reply

      Good plumbers are worth their weight in gold. Hold on to him!

  12. shaz November 17, 2012 at 9:39 am - Reply

    I feel your pain…………although apart from the stove fitter all our tradesmen turned out to be great (the stove issues were eventually sorted too)

    I am a firm believer in having some sort of chemistry with tradespeople you end up having quite an intimate relationship with them and it makes life so much easier if you all get along.

    Keep telling yourself it will all be ok in the end………because it will 🙂

    • Jessica November 17, 2012 at 9:48 am - Reply

      I’m sure you’re right Shaz. As you know, it just doesn’t always feel like it at the time!
      It will all be OK
      It will all be OK..

  13. young at heart November 17, 2012 at 10:05 am - Reply

    ooh sounds like you might get to know Mike’s plumber quite well!!!

    • Jessica November 17, 2012 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Unfortunately I think I already have!

  14. Sue November 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Just keep going with your chant… WILL be worth it. NO pictures of plumbers rear end please.

    I hope your little damp problem can be sorted, at least it was found as you started.

    I once had a kitchen just like yours now, only I had the luxury of a tap sticking out of the wall!!

    It really WILL be worth it.

    Sue xx

    • Jessica November 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm - Reply

      It could be worse. I remember some of the wrecks we looked at when we were house hunting. One had no bathroom, only an outside privy. There was just one tap (cold) and that was the only plumbing in the place!

  15. Rosie November 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Hope that damp patch won’t be too much of a problem! I went for a walk with a friend yesterday and when we got back to her house for a cuppa a builder doing some work at her house was displaying the same area of his anatomy as your plumber:)

    • Jessica November 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      It must be an occupational hazard, Rosie!

  16. starproms November 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Hmmm you did need to fix the major problems first I feel. It will be lovely when it’s done (smile). Speaking as someone who is 3/4 through a kitchen alteration, you have my sincere sympathies!

    • Jessica November 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks Oma, it’s a nightmare isn’t it.
      But it WILL be worth it!

  17. elaine November 18, 2012 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Oh the joys of owning an old house – good luck with everything

    • Jessica November 18, 2012 at 9:24 am - Reply

      There will always be something that needs doing, I suspect. Thanks Elaine!

  18. Annie (Lady M) x November 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Blimey, it is already easy to see how much space you have opened up in the kitchen. It’s gonna look fab. I love the title of the post – Plumber’s Crack! Saucy, in an unsexy way (after reading your description of him)

    • Jessica November 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      The challenge is to keep it looking spacious…

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