Looking forward to spring

This is pretty obvious, given the weather today and how bleak it’s been, but – I have more than one reason for looking forward to spring. And that is that work is about to being again on our house – hurrah!

It’s been almost a year since I last opened my “House Work Planner” spreadsheet and since then there hasn’t been a lot of progress in our house. But, we certainly haven’t been doing nothing. During that time our household has acquired two cats, got one new job that has taken up many hours, written at least one book (not by me), travelled round Southern California, survived an office move and got a new mortgage. The last of which means, hurrah – work can begin on our house again!

So, that is why I’m looking forward to Spring.

Because in just under a month, our builder will be back and ripping out our bathroom. He has to start outside with our ancient pipes and drains, and then gut the whole bathroom before he can do anything. I’m trying not to think about that stage. Instead, I am doing the exciting bits – obviously – and dream shopping for bathroom fittings.

This is our current bathroom, complete with makeshift shower held up by a decorating pole and NHS curtain.

Old bathroom shower pole come decorating pole

It’s not hideous but it is dark, and so very blue. And always just a little bit damp. I dread to think what is lurking under the lino…(Poor Kristian…our builder).

So, I think after living with this for the last 18 or so months we will be going clean, and bright. And likely white, with one bright colour splash somewhere.

I took a walk to Romford Road today to visit the excellent TJR Bathrooms, which has a surprisingly good range of lovely bathroom fixtures and fittings. There I was before I went, saying, ‘look, I definitely don’t want to spend a fortune on the bathroom’. But, ahhh – but then I picked up a Clearwater ‘Simply Exclusive’ bathroom brochure. Disaster.

My current shortlist should budget/bargain hunting allow is:

This beautiful Clearwater Roll-top basin with stand –

Swwon
Swoon

Perhaps paired with this Modern Free-standing bath, again from Clearwater –

ImageGen.ashx-2
Pass the sponge

And, oh definitely need one of these:

Heritage Heated Towel Rail
Heritage Heated Towel Rail

Hmm. I think I might have to do some shopping around. But, for now, I will carry on dreaming!

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In other news, I’m adding a feature to this blog – stolen from a friend and colleague Be Nourished. Seeing as I read so much in my job, I thought I’d share my recent reads and soon-to-be-reads with you.

So, this month:

– The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton. Stunning debut I thought and one of the books last year that everyone was talking about. Weird and wonderful, not perfect but I loved it.
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion. God, I loved The Rosie Project so much, and this sequel completely lived up to the first book in my eyes. I laughed and cried in equal measures. I love Don Tilman (though think he *might* be hard to live with)
The Wronged by Kimberley Chambers, for work – East End crime/drama at its best. If you love Eastenders, or anything to do with The Krays, you’ll love it. Coming in March – can’t wait to work on this one.
The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins – this debut went to Number One last week in the Hardback charts on its first week of release and surprised everyone. I’ve just started reading it, it’s definitely compelling so far.
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters – maybe my favourite author, I’m halfway through this and it’s as good as I thought it would be. Just need the time to get back to it! (You can probably tell I read a lot of books at the same time, bad habit of my job)

On my to be read shelf:
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan – been hearing a lot about this haunting collection of essays and stories. Bought in Waterstones January Sale and staring at me on my bookcase.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – gift from a friend at another publisher, have been wanting to read for ages. Might be next on my list!

Let me know if you’ve read or reading any of the above and what you thought!

Until next time…

 

 

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Complicated bathrooms and building sites

It’s a happy day in E7. Today our slightly odd en-suite was mostly ripped out. I say slightly odd as the loo in the en-suite was a Saniflo toilet. This is one of those loos that doesn’t need to be plumbed in, and has a macerator underneath it. It’s a solution for spaces where you can’t make your bathroom waste pipe reach the soil stack, without making major alterations to your house. However, as we found when we moved in, our one was very loud (not ideal in the middle of the night) and quite smelly. We are lucky to have a main bathroom downstairs so we haven’t been using it since we moved in, so when we had a plumber coming to do a few other bits we decide to get rid of it!

The ensuite before
The ensuite before

And it's gone!
And it’s gone!

We’ve been consulting with builder and plumber friends and they think we should be able to plumb in a toilet, its just going to be a bit tricky as we need to run pipes underneath another room. Or raise the floor a little.

Luckily, this is how the other room looks at the moment:

Not too much problem disturbing this room
Not too much problem disturbing this room

This did have a fitted wardrobe at the end until today and a lot of leftover pipes from an old boiler, so our plumber has been working out which ones he can remove or take elsewhere. The plan, in the near future, is to try to run our waste pipe under this floor (our spare room) and out the back. At least the floor already had to come up when we rewired, so the disturbance has already been started, and we don’t need to use this room for a while (sorry would-be overnight guests!).

The current en-suite is long and thin, and we are hoping to split the room into two, and use one end for a wardrobe, and the other end for the bathroom, moving the toilet as close to the back of the house as we can (which should mean it ends up just behind the wall in the picture above where all the pipes are). We have some complicated decisions to come about where to put doors, whether to change windows, and exactly how much hanging space we need in our wardrobe area – but that is the fun part to come!

For now, we no longer have an old Saniflo in our bedroom (essentially, as the en-suite never had a door) and while our house is becoming more like a building site as the days go on, it all still feels like progress.

In the meantime I will be dreaming of the massive luxury of having space to hang clothes and being able to go for a quiet wee in the middle of the night without waking the neighbours.