I decided in my infinite
The next step was to find a tiler who would do it for less than an arm and a leg and we ended up settling for one who only charged a forearm and a couple of grey hairs. Once again, we offered one of the children as payment, but had the offer very politely refused. His reasoning was that if he couldn't wrangle his own two kids, what chance did he have with another one. Chicken!
The job was supposed to take 5 days to complete but ended up taking 9 days, which I suppose was technically 4.5 days because he only worked half days. Apparently this is standard amongst freelance bathroom tilers because by the time they drag themselves out of bed, it is already 8am and then by the time they manage to get dressed and have breakfast, the housewives waiting for them, who have moved heaven and earth to have someone else take their children to school so they can be there for the supposed arrival time of said tiler, are so fed up with waiting for them that they go and do some of the other more pressing chores, like hanging out washing and can't hear the doorbell in the backyard, so the tiler has to wait until she comes back inside to make herself a coffee and down a few medicinal chocolate biscuits, that he figures he may as well turn up at morning tea time and hopefully score a choccie bikkie into the bargain. Unfortunately, my mother raised me to offer a cuppa to everyone else in the house whenever I make myself one, so he quite often scored a coffee along with some of the secret stash of choccie bikkies. Note to self: replenish secret stash post haste!
On the day the bathroom was finished being tiled, I rang the glass people to arrange for the shower screens to be replaced. They had cracked the month before the re tiling but I decided to wait to have them replaced so that I wouldn't have to find storage space for them away from the
marauding hordes children and pray to the gods of shower screens to make sure they stayed intact while not fixed to a wall.
The last time I needed to have a screen replaced, it was done the same day. This time had to be different just because both showers were out of commission at the same time. I rang on Thursday to arrange replacement. They came and collected both the old screens on Tuesday of the following week. When I asked what time he would be back to fit the new screens, he looked at me as if I'd sprouted Jack's beanstalk from the top of my head and said "in a couple of weeks."
Once I had picked myself up off the ground, I asked what was I supposed to do for showers for myself and three children for a couple of weeks. His response was "have a bath. You don't need a screen for that." Obviously he has no children. You need the cone of silence or the entire bio-dome over the bath any time my boys go near it. I have found bath bubbles on the washing hanging on the line outside the bathroom on more than one occasion in the past. No mean feat considering the window is a metre above the bath and only has an opening big enough to squeeze an anorexic spider through.
I soon decided that taking a bath was not the supposedly relaxing thing all those chick flicks make it out to be, especially when there are three boys and a water loving dog on the other side of the door all clamouring to have their turn. Then if we throw in the fact that the bath in my bathroom was not made for a lady of, shall we say, ample proportions (and by ample I mean anyone over 40 kilos) and I was over it pretty quickly. Did you know that taping black garbage bags to the walls you want to protect from shower water over spray is fairly effective, especially if you don't care if removing the tape damages the paintwork because you are going to paint as soon as the #$%@^ glass man replaces your screens? Well, now you do. I'm all about sharing the knowledge people!
As we approached the end of the 'couple of weeks' with not a word from the glass people, I rang them to nudge things along. In my most sickeningly sweet, helplessly downtrodden, 'mere female' voice, I asked if they had any idea whether my screens would be ready for installation by the end of the week as I had someone coming to stay from out of town and would rather not have to direct them to the local YMCA to take care of their hygiene needs. (The fact that the person from out of town was my husband who works away was completely irrelevant!) I was assured that they didn't have the screens in stock yet but that they would ring me back that very afternoon to let me know a definite date. I'm still waiting for that phone call.
Luckily, I received a call the next morning, as I was trying to take a shower while fighting off some very fresh black garbage bags, to let me know my screens were being installed that day. I believe the exact words were "We'll be there between 11 and 12. If you're not home, we won't be back this way for another week." Due to not working outside the home at the moment, I was able to be home at the times specified. Mind you, even armageddon wouldn't have stopped me from being there!
Thank goodness I was able to be home at the times not specified because that is when they turned up. One guy turned up at 10:15, without the screens, had to go to another job and then come back. The other guy turned up with the screens at 1:10, but couldn't install them because he was only new and didn't have any tools. The first guy finally showed up again at 1:50, installed the screens .. incorrectly! .. and then had the nerve to shoot me evil looks as I questioned whether it was supposed to be on that angle and why had he attached the wall mirror to the shower screen with half a tube of silicone. He fixed those trifling little details so I recalled the dog and allowed him to leave with all his bodily parts intact.
With the screens installed, all that was left to do was the original task of painting the bathrooms. This time when Peter was home, we painted the ensuite and, while the paint turned out darker than I expected, it is done! Insert Hallelujah Chorus here!
Now all I have to do is psyche myself up for the painting of the boys' bathroom, the TV room, the kitchen, the family room, master bedroom, hallway, toilet ....
If you don't hear from me for a while, please send in a rescue team!