Thursday, 7 October 2010



It seemed liked weeks and weeks that we’d been planning and preparing for our new rooms, and it was. Then on the morning of June 1st at 8am, six men arrived on my doorstep and it all started!
Having had my old bathroom and kitchen literally ripped out and new walls and ceilings put in, the fun started!
Through the front door, and up the stairs and into my spare room went a vanity stand, toilet, cistern, bidet, wall cupboard and shower unit. Then the large glass shower screen followed. It got to the bend in the stairs and was just too large to take the bend in an orderly fashion. I hovered, fearing for my walls and stair lift. They had another go, still no joy. The fitter was trying hard to compose himself in front of this elderly lady customer, but you could tell that he was bursting to shout expletives at the sheet of glass.
‘It’s no use’ he said. ‘It’ll have to come through the upstairs bedroom window’. I blanched. ‘But my bedroom window is a large double glazed fixed picture window’. ‘Yes I know’ said Mark the fitter. We’ll get the guy who installed the new kitchen and bathroom windows to take it out and put it back when we’ve got the screen into the room’.
My dressing table runs along the wall under the window and is over six feet long. It has four segments that are screwed together and the whole thing is immovable’ ‘Perhaps the window isn’t big enough’ I said weakly. ‘Oh it is, I’ve measured it’. I thought this a bit of a cheek as he didn’t ask me first. And that’s what they did. They took out the entire window, hauled the shower screen up the front of the house and through the window aperture. I feared that the sheet of glass would not be able to be transported from my bedroom, along the landing, and turn into the bathroom doorway. But it did! Of course I was charged for the taking out and replacing of the window. I forgot to mention that the large floor standing carousel in the kitchen suffered the same fate as the shower screen. It wouldn’t come through the back door, into the utility room and so into the kitchen. It too came in through the window. This time the kitchen window.

We were sort of marooned in the lounge, so didn‘t see much of the wet room installations, but you can be sure I kept a beady eye on the work in the kitchen.
Units were built and an induction hob and cooker hood fitted on one wall. Opposite was the microwave oven and self cleaning cooker. Under the wall cupboard was a drop down TV, DVD player and DAB radio. There were no floor standing cupboards as such. Behind each soft closing door were pull out units and drawers. No more agonising arthritic pains from bending and crouching in front of horrible cupboards.

I studied colour charts for hours trying to choose my colour scheme. The more I pored, the more uncertain I became. In the end I left it to my wonderful, artistic and talented son Philip. I was thrilled with his choice, and all my visitors say what a wonderful colour my feature wall is. It’s called 'Driftwood' and is a sort of mushroom colour and the splash back tiles are mosaic and echo all the colours that are in the room. I chose the colour of the units and I love it. I didn’t like white or cream but still wanted something neutral. It’s called ivory and it’s gorgeous.

We still had two little problems in the kitchen. One was the microwave oven which had a large sticky mark on the glass door. Nothing, but nothing would remove it. We tried oil, WD, sticky stuff remover, spirit, meths. It refused to be banished. In the end the whole oven was sent back to Zanussi and replaced. The other problem was the TV. It’s digital and although the DVD player worked fine, the TV and Radio just didn’t want to know! That too was replaced, but still didn’t work. Three months later, it took my friendly neighbourhood TV man and £96 to get it going. It was the electrical installer who had fitted the wrong cable and fittings for Digital signals. Unfortunately they had chased the TV aerial into the plaster on the wall, underneath my beautiful mosaic tiles! No way could it be accessed without taking down the tiles, and no way would I allow that. That’s why it cost what it did, and my lovely TV repair man worked hard and solved the problem. I now have TV on all my menus!

I've tried very hard to get photos (of which I have many) onto this blog. But for some reason known only to Windows 7 and Mr. Gates, it won't happen. I will keep trying.