Thursday, May 03, 2007

Reggie's Folly

The wife of the piece is the dearly beloved ,, Let's call her Ann !

She ( who will be obeyed ! ) wanted to replace the strip of silicone filler with a plastic beading at the back of the wash hand basin in the downstairs toilet ,.,. Oh and ditto on the wash hand basin AND the bath in the upstairs loo too.

So she set about removing the old beading / silicone filler stuff, upstairs first.

I fretted that she was about to break wall tiles and /or wash hand basin and /or the bloody bath !

However with my expert help and guidance :) she managed to complete both with no real damage done.

So next it was onto the downstairs job !

Now to let you understand ,,, The downstairs loo was installed by REGGIE ,,, a sortofa plumber from far away Newarthill that we hired once, in a weak moment.

First we tried to scrape away the existing silicone filler stuff from behind the basin ,,, it was good stuff 'cause it wouldn't come off ! So, we scraped a bit harder ,,, Oh shit, the WHB fell away from the wall ,,, how the hell did that happen ?,, Ah, you forgot didn't you ,, REGGIE ,,, there were NO screws fixing the WHB to the wall ,, only a big dollop of glue !

I tried to balance the basin ( now hanging precariously by the pipes to the hot and cold taps ) ( which incidentally, are on the WRONG way round from every other set of taps in the Western World ) on the pedestal but bugger me, it wasn't fixed to the floor in any way at all ,, not even Reggie glued ,.,.,.

So picture it, if you can ,,, we, two daft old buggers with Stanley knives in hand ,, trying to hold not only the basin but now the pedestal too, to stop it all collapsing to the floor and undoubtedly starting a flood ,, 'cause it's a fair bet in my head by now, that at best Reggie will have only half tightened any pipe fittings ?

God only knows how, but finally, after a few minutes we got ourselves sorted to the point where that lady we called Ann is holding the pedestal steady while I hold the basin on top of it with one hand and try screwing in one of the two missing screws with the other !

Absolutely no way is this going to work ,,, I can't get a screw started in the hole ,, it can only take a very short "dumpy" screwdriver ,,, I try on and off for the next 30 minutes to achieve some kind of fixing to the wall ,,, Alas there's nothing else for it ,,,I get Ann to hold the lot while I get underneath and uncouple the hot and cold pipe connections ,,, fortunately wee Reggie has done a job here ,, and we do have inline isolation valves, so we escape the flooding ! ( for now ? )

Finally, after what seems like an hour, I lift the whole basin free and plonk it down on the carpet in the hall ,, Ah, forgot the hanging pipes and waste would still be full of water didn't I ? ( dirty water in the case of the waste ! ) Ach, The carpet cleaning job can be next !

Now I go about trying to get a couple of fixing screws into the (solid wood) wall. Ok that's done !

While we have this all off the wall the Ann person decides a new strip of wallpaper is required to be fitted in along the back of the basin since it's damaged there ,, and suddenly appears with a roll of this paper as if by magic !! Honest, she did !

The re papering naturally requires some wallpaper paste which we "borrow" from our neighbourly painter/decorator next door.

Then it was back to the job of re fitting Reggie's Folly !

We pushed, we shoved, we tried lying upside down, inside out and backwards ,, could we engage these bloody screws in the wall thro' the basin ?? Not on your f***ing life ,.,.

We sat down for a rest, completely cream crackered by now ,, we had a coffee ,, ( and a cream cracker !! ) and finally after now some 3, or was it 4 hours, with a monumental effort we got it all back together ,, taps tightened, ( for they were loose too ! ) pipes fitted and basin on the wall WITH two screws halfway home ! A result !

Only then did she discover ,,,, the basin is shaped ,, curved if you will ,, arced even ,, NOT BLOODY STRAIGHT ,, and so impossible to fit with her plastic bloody beading strip !!

It's back on the wall now with a thin line of white silicone filler just to tidy up the edge betwixt wall and basin ,,,, or put another way ,, THE WAY IT BLOODY WAS TO BEGIN WITH !!

Next day and every day since, my body has ached with all the bloody contortions I did under that basin ,..,,. and not even any sex was involved !! She's gonna put me in an early grave !

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