One reason why I have been around less than usual here in the blogosphere over the past weeks is that I was not home. After I came back from my two weeks away (first week at O.K.'s, second week hiking in the mountains), I had just one day at home before I had to move out - to get a big job done: my bathroom!
(To be precise, it has never been a bathroom, as there was no bath, always only a shower, toilet and sink. But you know what I mean; I still call it my bathroom.)
Already last year, when I turned 50, I meant to do this as a gift to myself. But what with the eye operation and various other things, I postponed it. This year, I finally got round to talking to my neighbour, who is a craftsman himself (although a painter, not a plumber) and knows many others. We agreed on a date after my holiday, and so it was that on the 14th of May at 20 past 7 in the morning, three men arrived at my flat and started the work.
This is what the bathroom looked like up until the day before:
It was never my taste; it was like this when I bought the flat 16 years ago. I got up early on the 14th and emptied it of all my stuff:
Then I left for work... and returned to this:
The doors to the other rooms were stuck shut with tape plus a plastic sheet. It helped a lot, but naturally there was still plenty of dust everywhere from knocking off the tiles.
Of course it was clear from the start that I could not stay in the flat while the work was going on; there is only the one bathroom with no extra toilet, and while I could have washed and brushed my teeth at the kitchen sink, I obviously could not stay here without a toilet.
My sister kindly gave up her study to me for the entire time; I had the room to myself and we got along very well. Actually, it was almost a bit like sharing the cottage in Ripon, only with work and not quite as picturesque as there. We shared the cooking, and as we start work at different times, there was never a queue for the bathroom, either.
When it became apparent that the work in my flat was not going to finish as quickly as my neigbhour had planned, she said I could stay as long as it would take. It really was no problem, also because she lives close enough to my place so that I could go there every day after work and check on the progress, make decisions when necessary, and so on.
May 17 - bare walls:
May 24 - the former shower basin is filled in, and the toilet flush installed and put behind a wall:
May 26 - the walls are prepared for tiling:
May 27 - more preparations for tiling:
May 28 - the first tiles are on the walls:
May 29 - tiling of the walls complete!
May 31 - floor tiles laid:
June 2 - I have a toilet!! But look at my kitchen:
June 3 - I now also have a sink, but can not use the shower yet:
June 4 - off to Berlin, leaving behind my kitchen like this:
June 7, 2:00 am, returning from Berlin: My neighbour has hung up a shower curtain for me (without adding it to the bill) so that I can use the shower without flooding the whole room until the glass separation arrives.
the three weeks of going back and forth all the time were exhausting,
and of course I wanted to be back in my own place. I spent the weekends
at O.K.'s, and last week Sunday, I finally had a functioning toilet
again and was allowed to move in.
like after our hiking holiday, I had only one day at home before I was
off again - this time to Berlin for a work-related conference. While I
was away, the workmen could finish.
I returned last night - actually,
this morning at 2:00 am... My flight back from Berlin to Stuttgart was
cancelled, along with many others, because of thunderstorms. The flight I
was able to snatch instead was supposed to depart at 9:00 pm but was
delayed until 11:00; landing in Stuttgart was at midnight, then another half hour until
I had my suitcase and was out of the airport, and then two trains from the
airport to Ludwigsburg, a few minutes walk from the station, and I was
finally home! Phew! The flight had been very wobbly, and I admit I was scared. But we made it, and I am very grateful for that.
The work is not entirley finished yet; where the shower curtain is now, there will be a glass pane to separate the shower from the rest of the room, and a sliding door is going to be installed. That is supposed to happen the week after next.
Also, the heating/towel rack needs to be mounted (the only item I kept), and other things want deciding on, such as a mirror or mirror cabinet, lamp etc. This is going to be fun! Oh, and I already have a new bath rug :-)
You wouldn't think a tiny bathroom like this can be such a big job, but it is!