Every time Whale goes into the toilet Bear and I groan inwardly. It means he’ll be in there for at least 45 minutes – sometimes longer – and although there’s another loo upstairs it’s not always easy to get there in time if you have a gammy knee.
So, the solution is another ‘petit coin’ downstairs. I asked Pascal about it before Christmas and he thought it wouldn’t be a problem. There were two possible places: in the bathroom cupboard or under the stairs. The former is rather narrow and it would mean losing valuable storage for towels etc but it does back onto the existing toilet so plumbing would be straightforward.
Plan B is the cupboard under the stairs but Pascal thought that would involve a ‘sanibroyeur’ – a much more expensive option.
Anyway, we waited – and waited – but Pascal didn’t make any move towards starting so I looked up a local plumber and asked for an estimate. A chap from the village turned up over a week ago, looked around, found a drain in the garage which would mean a ‘normal’ toilet could go under the stairs and said he would let me know the price.
Inevitably, Pascal turned up last Wednesday and said he was ready to start. If he didn’t have to work on Saturday he would take me shopping for the materials in the morning and make a start in the afternoon. Oops. I hadn’t had the other chap’s estimate. It was possible he wouldn’t get back to me anyway so I had to agree.
I thought Pascal said he would ring me on Friday evening if he were coming. We heard nothing so I didn’t hurry to get up on Saturday morning. You’ve guessed it. He turned up at 8.30. I was up but hadn’t had time to make a coffee, let alone prepare anyone’s breakfast.
I dashed upstairs to tell CC she’d have to do all the morning chores, threw on my coat, grabbed my handbag and jumped into Pascal’s van. As he drove off I realised I was still wearing my indoor sandals. Never mind, it wasn’t raining for once.
Shopping for D.I.Y. stuff is not my favourite occupation, especially on an empty stomach, and when Pascal arrived at Brico Depot my heart sank. I hate that store. First of all he wasted a good 20 minutes at the ‘Accueil’ (Welcome desk – huh) trying to get a rebate for a previous purchase but the sullen woman on duty resisted strongly and he had to insist on seeing her superior.
While he was doing battle I looked around and spotted a rather neat looking ‘sanibroyeur’ on special offer at 169 euros complete. However, when I asked Pascal if that would mean he needn’t dig a trench in the garage (thus saving a good half day’s work/pay) he said no, he’d still have to do that.
He showed me the cheapest toilets and they were not very nice; lots of nooks and crannies at the back and sides to make cleaning difficult. In the end I chose a much simpler design at over twice the price. Bear wouldn’t approve but he’s not the one who has to clean it.
We then wandered round looking for bits of pipe and other stuff for fixing it. It seemed there was a severe shortage of necessary items in the right size so we had to go to Leroy Merlin as well.
“It’s all here.” exclaimed Pascal in delight. “I wish we’d come here first”.
“So do I.” I thought to myself.