Tuesday, 21 June 2011


Hi there. plumbing fans!

Boy do I have a treat for you. A couple of pictures of some lovely, lovely pipework.

Plumbing, unless you do it regularly, is always a bit of a scary proposition. The potential for catastrophe is quite high, so whenever I set about any project involving a lot of copper tubing and soldering, I get pretty nervous.

At the centre of this project is a great big brass casting which will be hidden behind the bath and shower controls when the job is complete. All the pipe connections on this manifold are for 22mm tubing and as I've hardly ever worked with anything bigger than 15mm, this is rather exciting.

Anyway, after a couple of days of soldering, compression fittings and doubt, I reached the point where I had to turn on the water and see where the leaks were hiding.

Guess what...

No leaks!

So, just for a couple of days, I'm changing my name to Mr Smug.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Slow progress, but progress nonetheless

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned the bathroom reconstruction project, so I thought I'd let you know how it's going.

In short, it's going slowly

We started taking it to pieces on 30th April and by the time the plasterers arrived on 10th May, everything that was removable had gone; bath, wash-basin, toilet, airing cupboard, tiles, plaster, floor covering, lighting, the lot.

Here's how it looked at the various stages of dismantling

This is the point immediately prior to two days of plastering action, when we were completely bog-less. The only things that we didn't remove were the hot water tank and the central heating pump.

After the plastering, it looked like this.

Once the plastering was done, I refitted the old lavatory pan, which was a bit of a relief, then put back the old bathtub on temporary, flexible plumbing. Although this isn't awfully elegant and we have to use buckets of water to flush the toilet because there's no cistern, at least we can have a bath and go to lav without having to nip next door.

Everything seemed to be going pretty well.

Then one evening, as Blight-of-my-life was in the bath, she noticed a wet patch on the floor near the hot water tank.
"Have you spilt any water by the tank?"
"Err, I don't think so. Why?"
"I think it may be leaking"
I had a quick look. It was leaking.

It was time to call in the experts. In this case, it was time to call Mr Barnett.
I explained the problem and asked if he could fit a new hot water tank for us. With everything else that would normally be in the bathroom gone, there'd probably never be another time when installing a tank would be so easy.
There was good news and bad news. He said he could do the job, but not until the following Monday. Not only would we have no bathroom, but we'd have no hot water for the best part of a week.

After a couple of days, there was some better news. Mr Barnett was able to do the job three days sooner than he'd expected, so after just four days of kettle washes in the kitchen sink, we had proper hot water again, and I could start building the airing cupboard wall.

And here's where we were a couple of days ago. The stud wall is up and waiting for the shower manifold and associated piping. The ceiling is painted, all the walls have been primed with PVA and a coat of emulsion and the bracing is in place for the new bath.

As you can see, we still have the old bath and flush-by-bucket lavvie.
It's funny how you get used to things.

Monday, 6 June 2011


It's taken me a while to catch up with the film "Inception", but it was certainly worth waiting for.

I'm not going to say anything about the plot, story or characters, because I wouldn't want to spoil what, for me,  was one of the most exciting and engrossing 148 minutes I've enjoyed for some time.

If you want to see what it's about, by all means take a look at the entry for "Inception" on IMDB, where you'll find trailers, cast list and as many spoilers as you want.

Although I enjoyed this film the first time I watched it, I wanted to give it a second viewing to get a better understanding of what it was all about.
Strangely enough, I enjoyed it even more the second time and
I fully expect that a third viewing will be just as rewarding. 

Sweet dreams...