Not All Ducks Are Rusty..

How did that happen then? Could it actually be two months since a post last appeared here? It wasn’t meant to be this long a break and I really can’t believe how quickly this summer has gone by. If you’re in the south west of England you might be questioning the validity of the word ‘summer’ in any case. And with due reason. Even the rubber ducks have had their fill of the wet stuff now.

So where have I been? Well I’d love to be able to tell you that we’ve just returned from exotic travels to tropical climes but sadly the reality is far more mundane. I’ve taken on too much and have been racing to catch up. Still am. In particular, I’m bathroomed out. No project is ever simple chez rusty duck but this latest one is proving harder than most. Eight planning meetings to date. Eight. Then there have been the research trips. If there is a bathroom emporium south of Bristol that we haven’t yet found I would be truly gobsmacked. Some of them we’ve visited twice. A couple even more often than that. I’ve picked up so many brochures along the way that I’ve had to arrange them on the study floor in three separate piles.. to spread the weight over the ancient joists.



The bathroom is probably our biggest challenge so far. It is long, low, narrow and almost entirely devoid of natural light: there is no window. It’s a cave. Black would not have been my first choice of colour in such a situation but there we are. Back in the day the decor was further enhanced by a dark brown carpet which I’m afraid didn’t respond well to cleaning and has long since been bundled up and conveyed down to the dump. We’ve been walking on the bare boards (and the remains of the carpet tacks) ever since. In recent weeks floor interest has been bolstered with the addition of the masking tape. It marks out the new position of things which will move.

And so, much of the last couple of months has been spent looking into loos. And vanity units, baths, showers, taps and tiles. Quite a lot of tiles. For a little light relief, a few weeks back, I gave myself a break one night and started googling for holiday deals instead. Something to look forward to when bathroom related disruption will be but a distant memory (I hope). And that was when I knew I had completely lost it. Looking through those traveller photos on Trip Advisor I came across a bathroom shot, from the middle of the Costa Rican jungle as it happened, and was heard to exclaim in that semi-hysterical way known only to the true bathroom obsessional.. “Oh gosh that’s a Hansgrohe Axor Philippe Starck tap!!!!”



Technology has certainly moved on since I last considered bathrooms. Our bathroom installer of choice seems quite taken with those ‘Spa’ toilets, which offer the ultimate in hygiene care: a wash and blow dry to follow through. One of these contraptions even operates by remote control via a unit that for my liking looks way too much like a mobile phone. Surely no woman would ever have come up with that idea. Imagine the complications which could arise. Not least your Other Half going off to work, as mine most assuredly would, with the device tucked into his pocket. But perhaps we don’t need to worry after all because it seems between them the manufacturers have all bases covered. There’s also an App. Of course there is. Which means that if needs must a person could operate the facilities by using their own phone.. presumably hoping fervently that the wretched thing doesn’t ring just as they’ve initiated the wash cycle.

No, chez rusty duck will not be having one of those. App or no App. Quite apart from the risk of exposing one’s ablutions to the wider world there is the considerable cost. Spending (one penny or two?) a three figure sum on a loo is bad enough never mind parting with four. We won’t be eschewing progress altogether though for our loo will be rimless. Easy to clean apparently. Which pushes all my buttons. And it’s wall hung. But that’s a story for another time.



There is no way to make these shots look pretty, believe me I’ve tried.

The large cupboard will go. There is no need for such generous bathroom storage and the space could be much better used. The future of the main entrance door has been occupying my thoughts for months. The frosted glazing is useful because it does at least allow in some borrowed light. But I could never find an alternative glazed door that was suitably contemporary. Until, last year at a hotel in Sydney, the light bulb moment struck. Frameless opaque glass.



Now doesn’t that look so much better?



With a following wind the plan is to start work sometime late next month.

Through all the trauma of getting to this point there is one additional bit of intrigue that has kept me going. In taking the measurements prior to drawing up a floorplan I made an interesting discovery. The distance between the end wall exterior surface and the inner partition is over 1.2 metres (4 feet). That is one mighty thick wall. Especially at the upper floor level. More likely the partition conceals a void. And if there is a space behind that wall what could be hidden within it? Artifacts from a previous age. A time capsule. Ancient bones. Treasure?

Will we be opening it up to see what’s there? Just try and stop me.