Monday, 4 June 2012

Chris and I and the shower room

The time came when I could put it off no longer. Something had to be done about the flooring in the shower room. I agreed that I would replace the faded and worn-thin lino with tiles and, on one of my solo trips to France, I drove hundreds of miles and traipsed round about seventy-three different outlets - posh shops, DIY stores, cavernous warehouses and builders' merchants' yards - to find tiles which I thought would please Mrs S. I did eventually find what I wanted in Mr Bricolage, the DIY store which had become my second French home and which was, of course, the nearest tile stockist to Les Lavandes. As well as the tiles for the floor, I found a similar narrow tiles to fix to the bottom of the walls instead of the skirting board which wasn't there anyway. I had insufficient faith in my French to buy adhesive, grouting and a tile cutter over there, so found what I wanted in England.

Chris came over with me: I can't think why it can be, but he seems to like these jaunts. We removed the lino and stood jammed shoulder to shoulder in the shower room doorway considering how to tackle the job.

Perhaps at this stage I should explain that the house, when it was built in 1840, consisted of just two rooms - one downstairs and one up. Adjoining the house were cattle sheds with a hay barn above. The cattle sheds had at some time been converted into the living room and kitchen, while the downstairs room in the house part had a stud wall built to provide a bedroom and an entrance hall. The hall had been further divided to provide a shower room, effectively under the stairs, and the shower room was therefore a little on the small side, shall we say. If Chris and I had attempted to get in there together we would have been unable to see the floor properly.

The dimensions of the room alone would mean that this would not be a particularly easy job: one of us would have to twist like a contortionist to reach every corner. And it was plain to see that only two tiles could be laid without cutting them. But there was another little problem as well.

1 comment:

Suldog said...

By any chance, have you read Bill Bryson's latest, "At Home"? It's all about the history of houses, in general, and I think you'd find it fascinating.