so finally, here it is. we have a website for our caravan. finally. I said to my wife it would be done ages ago & yet only now is it finished. at last.
I must admit to having a bit of a track record when it comes to procrastination. reminds me of the time we (that's the royal "we" of course) decided we were going to renovate the en-suite in our house.
"choose your tiles" I said. "I'll get the shower enclosure ordered" I said.
"I'll get it done in no time at all" I said.
she chose, I ordered. it was either delivered or picked up.
I had a little break in my work schedule and when there was no supervising spouse in the house, I decided to make a start. It couldn't take that long could it? she's at work all day, the major stuff will be done by the time she's back, won't it?
3 hours later the phone went........
"yep, I've started the en-suite".............silence from the other end
"are you still there? Hello?".
it was at that point that I realised my wife, although forever supportive of my diy efforts previously, did not share the same level of confidence in me with a job of this stature. sure, I'd done joinery work around the house before, filled & plastered up archways to create a doorway. tiled a bathroom to what I can only describe as being "a pretty good damn job if I do say so myself" turning my hand to any task required but this was obviously a whole new ball game in her eyes.
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?".
I'm pretty sure at this point her initial feeling of nervousness had escalated into.......well, an ever increasing feeling of dread especially when she was appraised of the current situation.
"I just thought that if I made a start it would spur me on to finishing it".
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?".
"well, I was gonna take the tiles off but they're stuck fast so I'll be tiling over them now" . that was my ice breaking way of saying that I'd tried to remove the tiles by smashing them with a steel mallet. hardly anything came off the walls.......in fact, most of it actually disappeared into the plasterboard wall cavity instead. perhaps a mallet was too heavy duty for the job? I'd keep that in mind.
That wet tiling cement does exactly what it says on the tin I have to admit.
I decided to fill up the holes with expanding foam (give me a break, they weren't that big honestly) & finish them off with waterproof filler. now i had a surface i could tile over...well with a thick bed of tile cement who would know, right?
"I've removed the shower tray" I said......."well, most of it"
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN MOST OF IT?".
yep, I was definitely sensing a tension in her voice now. no idea how I'd missed it up till this point tbh.
"Well it was cemented down to the floor & I tried to prise it off but it was stuck fast" I said. there was a pattern forming here.
have I mentioned how good that wet tiling cement is?
"WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?".
"its kind of looking like.......well, if you can imagine.....do you remember that scene from lethal weapon when the bomb goes off in danny glovers bathroom?".
possibly not the best descriptive I've ever chosen to use in such a sensitive & now evidently escalating emotional situation that this was fast becoming.
the mallet had been used in the only way I knew how to.........and it wasn't pretty.
my beloved wife came home that night, gave me "that look" and kissed me on the cheek as she passed on her way to assess the damage. kudos to her though.
I'm pretty sure it was a genuinely funny ha ha type laugh I heard coming from upstairs. I may be wrong. it's been known before.
I could remember similar reactions from participants on bbc's 1990's programme "changing rooms" when laurence llewelyn-bowen was the "designer".
it always stumped me how he got to those dizzy heights of tv stardom. certainly wasn't for his "design" skills. the "tart's boudoir" episode will stay with me forever.
and there it was. we had an en-suite that looked like an unexploded ww2 stuka bomb had gone off.
the next day or so was spent clearing up, removing the splinters of porcelain shower base from the plasterboard walls opposite & a new shower tray ordered.
I now had everything I needed to finish the job off.
"it should only take a couple of days" I persuaded myself.
I got to work, eager to redeem myself.
I tiled the existing gaps to allow me to re-tile whole walls as one with the new replacements. the door frame had to be extended to suit the new tile thickness. the floor tiling was finished in record time.......and then something happened.
I was inundated with work again. after a week, no advancement had been made. certain "people" were getting used to using the main bathroom again.
the en-suite, well it was filled with building "stuff".......nobody ventured in there anymore...........the urge to diy had left me.........it was gone.
It was mentioned every now & again but nothing really came of it even with the best of intentions which usually lasted ten to fifteen minutes at a time. I can honestly say that I believe a word like "manana" was created for me at times such as those.
over five years later, after a burst of inspiration that even I never saw coming, I put the finishing touches to our en-suite. it was finished. finally....
it took a week and a half to complete the work needed. yes, a week an a half. 10 days.........yep, only ten days to finish it off but it had taken almost 6 years from start to finish..........its not a sore point with my wife anymore. she has an en-suite again that works but we hardly ever mention it in our house (much).
needless to say I've been advised that when the main bathroom needs done we will be getting the builders in.
I'm just glad the website didn't take as long........