Now You See It..

It was bad news. Two more exploratory holes, two more wet and muddy hands.

The kitchen is an extension. The problem wall, therefore, a ‘modern’ liner that covered the cob wall of the original house. It would have to come down. It didn’t take long. Nor did it take long to find the cause of the damp. Yet another rotten central heating pipe.

The trouble with demolition is that it is apt to become contagious. When I risked a peek around the doorway of the downstairs loo, tiles had been removed from the wall. The housing was off the soil stack and the carpet coming up. They were trying to find the origin of the kitchen pipework in the hope that it could be bypassed at source. Mike’s Plumber was rooting around in the corner underneath the sink, his generous anatomy overflowing as is the way.

It was not to be his day. Or mine.

“Friggin’ Hell.” He had found a hole in the concrete floor, barely concealed by a square piece of ply. Underneath it was an open drain. I had always fretted about the smell in that room. However obsessively I tried to clean it, a stubborn aroma remained. It could have been worse. Only the sink empties into it. But indoor venting of the waste water system is never a good idea. (Photo intentionally withheld.)

So with the kitchen barely started, another huge job is thrust upon us. A makeover for the smallest room had been way down the list. Mike’s Plumber listened to my plans, in a disinterested sort of way.

Could I move the loo to the other side of the room? “I suppose..”

And put a sparkly new ladder towel rail where the loo had been? “Maybe.”

Maybe this latest turn of events could be no bad thing after all. A dream bathroom scenario is forming in my head. A rustic old oak cupboard with a counter top basin…

Mike’s Plumber clearly doesn’t read the same magazines. “Oh, that won’t work at all”

“..with a tap that’s fixed directly into the wall”

“I really don’t like those”

I’m starting to get annoyed.

“Well I do.”


2017-11-07T14:05:26+00:00November 20th, 2012|Tags: , |


  1. Sue November 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Nope, still not jealous.

    • Jessica November 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm - Reply

      It will still be worth it
      It will still be worth it
      It will still be worth it ..

      • Natalie November 22, 2012 at 2:29 am - Reply

        It will! It will!

        • Jessica November 22, 2012 at 8:35 am - Reply

          Keep Calm and Have More Wine!

  2. Annie (Lady M) x November 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Ah, the joys of renovating an old house! You have my sympathies … I’ve been there. Stripping walls back to bare plaster, ceilings coming down, leaky pipes. It total crap ….. but when you have finished it, you feel a total sense of achievement.

    That builder sounds a bit of a git. You stick with your dream chick!

    • Jessica November 20, 2012 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      It always seems a good idea at the beginning. And at the end. Middle bit…… aaarrgh!

  3. Em November 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Your house sounds as a big a money pit as ours is! Endless damp patches appearing from nowhere……….sigh. My thoughts are with you.

    • Jessica November 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      The weather is not on our side, Em. It seems the whole of the SW is one big damp patch.

  4. BadPenny November 20, 2012 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    ” We are going to look back on this and laugh one day…”

    Repeat after me………….. “We are going to……..

    • Jessica November 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      We are (probably) going to look back on this and laugh one day.

  5. simone November 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Anyone would think that the plumber was the Project Manager! He’s not is he?

    • Jessica November 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      NO !!!!!!!!!!!

  6. wherethejourneytakesme November 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Definitely sack the Friggin plumber – who needs negativity when you are renovating a house – you need someone with vision and creativity and a calm positive attitude to keep you from losing it!

    • Jessica November 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      I always wanted to bring in Kevin McCloud, but Mike said we’d go over budget for sure..

  7. knitsofacto November 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Your plumber sounds like one of those hairdressers who gives you the cut that they think suits you rather than the one you actually asked for. I’d say you need to put your foot down firmly but given the risk of it going through a floor board or something I won’t.

    You are probably going to look back on this and laugh one day, hysterically, but you will be laughing 😉

    • Jessica November 20, 2012 at 11:51 pm - Reply

      It’ll be one of those laughs that gets me put in a funny jacket Annie.

  8. CherryPie November 21, 2012 at 12:08 am - Reply

    You need to stand firm with what you want! You are paying form them to sort out your problems. You are the customer and the should provide what you want 😉

    • Jessica November 21, 2012 at 1:03 am - Reply

      Don’t worry Cherry, they will!

  9. Mise November 21, 2012 at 9:45 am - Reply

    How lovely to have a plumber who does free interior design reviews as well.

    • Jessica November 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm - Reply

      I know, I am truly fortunate.

  10. Rosie November 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Oh, my – at times like this you need a plumber who has a bit of vision, When I read the words ‘I really don’t like those’ I wanted to make your answer ‘and I really don’t like seeing most of your nether regions every day’ 🙂

    • Jessica November 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Ha Ha! I wish I’d thought of that…

  11. john November 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    sending you a virtual hug!

    • Jessica November 21, 2012 at 11:06 pm - Reply

      Aww shucks. That’s cheered me up no end!

  12. Natalie November 22, 2012 at 2:31 am - Reply

    Amazing what you uncover when you start this stuff. We discovered there used to be an entire bathroom in our upstairs hall/landing area. After we ripped out the carpet, we discovered the old opening for the toilet hole, complete with ugly linoleum tile surrounding it.

    • Jessica November 22, 2012 at 8:42 am - Reply

      It’s what I really enjoy about having an old house – a glimpse into the lives of the occupants before us.

      When we were house hunting we viewed a lot of real dumps, looking for a restoration project. One still had a bathroom on the landing. You literally had to walk through it to get from one part of the house to the other!

  13. Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden November 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Gulp, maybe I won’t rip my rotting mdf kitchen units out yet. Your plumber sounds like the Earthquake Commission builder (a very skilled tradesman) who wanted to change the level of the picture rails I was having replaced. He had no sense of their flow and symmetry through the whole house or any idea of preserving period detail. It’s stressful isn’t it, just having to hold your ground.

    • Jessica November 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      Preserving period details can be a thorny issue indeed, but one close to my heart. It often flies in the face of modern building regulations. What on earth was the rationale for changing the level of the picture rails??!

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