Fluorescent Blue Feet


It’s starting to resemble a crime scene. All it needs now is a chalk outline to mark the place where a body has been recently removed. Mrs Duck did it, in the bathroom, with a plumbers’ monkey wrench. Tensions, as you may have gathered, are running high.

The impending decision between Plans A, B and C remains omnipresent. Seared into the retina, via the medium of masking tape, through morning ablutions, evening ablutions and any ad hoc visits to the bathroom in between. Not only do the builders start to dismantle the existing bathroom next month but there is also the pressing need to get the new fixtures and fittings manufactured and safely onto British shores before Europe shuts down for the summer break. For these purposes Britain is not regarded as part of Europe. Even though we still are. Just. Because Britain, unlike mainland Europe, does not get to take the whole of August off.

And so. Three out of the last four days, cruelly coinciding with the best spell of gardening weather of the year so far, have been spent driving up and down the M5. In search of a bath. And a vanity unit. You’d think that at the very least we might have been due a bit of a lie in this morning. Alas no. Shortly after dawn, which arrives rather early in June, the blackbird discovered a new perching point atop the thatcher’s ladder.. the same ladder currently to be found leaning on the roof right alongside the open bedroom window. It’s just as well the blackbird has a nice song.

And if all that wasn’t enough there is an additional hazard. Remember the masking tape on the bathroom floor? And the blue ink marking the position of the vanity unit in Plan A? I wanted to try and simulate the thickness of the edges of the new basin in question. The pen that I used Mike gave me for the purpose did not contain waterproof ink. (It always feels better to apportion at least some of the blame doesn’t it, however tenuously.) The tap on the existing bathroom basin has seen better days and the water pressure, thanks to the recently upgraded boiler, is very high. The water has a tendency to splash. Everywhere. You can see where I’m going with this can’t you. Fortunately we managed to avoid the spectre of blue footprints all over the house, and in particular on the white rug in the bedroom, because I just about spotted it in time. But I can tell you, with some experience in the matter, that ink is very difficult to remove from the soles of your feet. It is the bathroom renovator’s equivalent of beetroot fingers.