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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Frazzled and 'frurled'...

It's been a long couple of weeks but we're nearly there! Henry has had a lovely time watching the builders and spent almost an hour watching the wall tiles going up. At the end of the day he said, 'I don't know Mum, that bathroom is pretty fancy, I'm not sure I can handle it!'. Bless.

The 'fanciness' hasn't come from nowhere and I've spent a lot of time running around looking, choosing, changing my mind, taking things back, swapping things over and generally getting very confused. On Tuesday I even forgot to go to Isabella's parent-teacher interview and when I collected Isabella from school she said I looked very 'frurled' (I think that's somewhere between frazzled and flustered?).

By Friday the bathroom was really starting to come together. It just needs sealing and painting before we can start using and enjoying it. I really had no idea how big a job it was going to be and I think I was very, very lucky to have found the builder I did. The only real hiccups have been with the crazy 1950s plumbing and with me not checking off my deliveries properly and ending up with two different styles of mixer taps (which were duly installed one day when I was at work). I've also conveniently forgotten that I have children and have nowhere to hang their towels! I'm sure there will be other things I've forgotten to include but hopefully nothing that can't be fixed (or fudged).

So for what it's worth, here are a few things to keep in mind if you're planning your own bathroom renovation...

  • Take your time researching your taps, mixers and spouts and accessories (towel racks, robe hooks, toilet roll holders etc) and order them all at one time. This is actually quite a lot harder than it sounds as you often have to order things based on catalogue or internet images and the first time you see them all together may be when they are delivered at your house.

  • Try and close doors or hang drapes across doorways throughout the rest of the house (the dust is incredible!

  • Stretch the budget a little and hire a portable bathroom rather than just a portaloo (especially if you have a family and it's the middle of Winter!). More info in the comments section of this post.

  • Get at least three quotes before you decide on a builder. We ended up with three very different prices and ideas for what we could do. We went with the builder who seemed most sympathetic to my 'unusual' plan and whose quote was in the middle of two rather extreme ones. We had to wait for him to start the job but I think it was worth the wait.

  • Always remember, a good builder and his trusty sub-contractors are worth their weight in gold.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Bit Of A Circus...

Well the bathroom is almost complete and I have lots of photos to show you but I can't find the photo cable to upload the images! Life's a bit like that at the moment - it's a bit of a circus here. Things are not where they should be. Books have gone missing as have shoes and vital paperwork but by next week things should be returning to a more manageable kind of domestic chaos. In the meantime I thought I'd up date you one what else I've been up to...

Marvelling at what the human body can do. You know how they say we only ever use about 10% of our brains? Well, after seeing the awe-inspiring Nederlands Dans Theater and Circus Olympia recently I'm convinced I'm only using .0001% of my physical capabilities!

Reading two great books about Australia in the 1930. The first one 'The Lost Mother: A Story of Art & Love' by Anne Summers is a memoir centred around a portrait her mother sat for as a child. The book explores the life of the artist who painted the work, Constance Stokes and the collector who held onto it for many years, a mysterious Russian emigre, Lydia Mortill.

If fiction is more your style and you're looking for some quirky local colour you might like 'A Few Right Thinking Men' by Sulari Gentill, the first in a planned series of mystery novels set in Sydney during the 1930s and starring gentlemen artist and amateur sleuth Rowland Sinclair. Very snappy dialogue and a colourful cast of characters. Sulari has a pretty nifty website over here.

Listening to Debussy. Many years ago I bought a CD called 'Debussy for Daydreaming'. I usually play music to the kids as they go to sleep and this CD is the current favourite.

Coverting this gorgeous glass Babushka drinking jug and glass.

Waiting patiently for the bathroom to be finished and the midnight treks to the outside portable bathroom to be over!

What have you been up to?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oh, my!

This is what I came home to after work last night. There's my little 50s pink toilet and check out that creative plumbing. Looks like some sort of surrealist sculpture! There used to be a wall enclosing all those pipes but really, I ask you, how has it been functioning all these years? The builder claims never to have seen anything like it in his life and I'm just waiting to see the plumbers face when he arrives tomorrow...

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Change Is As Good As A Holiday...

Image via

School holidays + bathroom renovation = no time for blogging. Happily for all concerned school is back today and the bathroom is being demolished as I write (including the 1950s pink toilet!). Stay tuned...