Monday, 14 January 2008


When we started the building renovation programme in June last year my husband was insistent that we have everything organised and down on paper so that when the builder started he could work straight through with wiring and plumbing diagrams etc to avoid the madness and mayhem that our projects normally turn into. Good plan! So we scout around for a “designer” to help talk us through fixtures, fittings, colours and designs. We find one but after a couple of visits he disappears off of the face of the earth. I guess our demands must have been too taxing for him.

A few months of struggling on our own prompted our talented and willing son-in-law to take pity on us. He is an interior designer at a firm of architects in the City of London and albeit that he has limited time available to indulge our fanciful whims he sets too to help us. Inspiration flows and great ideas are born. We get over enthusiastic about the project. The builder then injects his view of realism and with a lot of head scratching and a few “umm, that won’t work” and “wouldn’t it be better if you did this?” everything is slowly, but surely, changed. OK, I can live with that and, luckily, my son-in-law is not "precious".

The time has now come to select new bathroom and kitchen fittings. As I am not the world’s most enthusiastic shopper this is a particularly stressful time for me. I would like a bathroom and kitchen personal shopper, but this particular angel does not appear to exist. I have put off thinking about it, but now the builder is making noises like “where do you want the pipes?” and “where is the cooker going?” How should I know? ask the postman, he might have a better idea than me.

But this particular chore will not go away so last week we invited along a “kitchen designer” from one of the big stores. Between us we cobbled together an adequate, but not great, kitchen and then ran out of his 2 hour allotted time slot and he left. I agreed that if I wanted any alterations made I would make an appointment to go into the store to see him. Easier said that done. This particularly store has a great filter system to ensure that customers never get to speak to anyone. You first have to press 8 to hear the list of options available! I’ve tried all week to get through. My fucking 50% discount time is running out and I need to make some alterations and then place my order. Help!

Tomorrow I am going to a specialist bathroom store to go through the same harrowing process. I would rather stick hot needles in my eyes, but hey! I’m an adult, I CAN do this. Can’t I?


DogLover said...

Yes, I know that feeling. The local shops are about a mile away from me, but it needs a great effort to stir me to go there - near-starvation is a good incentive.

I have never stepped into a "specialist bathroom store", in fact I don't think I have ever seen one. But, in your shoes, I would worry that it didn't carry a full range of possible fittings and, having placed my order, I would then find a more satisfactory range elsewhere!

But good luck; I hope you make a really good choice.


Jean Genie(us) said...

Excuse me??? You never asked me!!! You may not like the outcome but boy I'd have one helluva time!!!

Anonymous said...

We're having a new kitchen fitted hopefully in a couple of months if not before depending on whether the installers will get their fingers out.

It's such a hassle really isn't it, rather exciting at the same time in an odd sort of way but well worth it when the end result is there to see.

Good luck!
Crystal xx

Flagmaker said...

Oh, my God, I do understand. My decorating ideas are nil. However, I thought you had wonderful taste in the decorating department having seen your home. Went the electrician,our Big Chuck, asked where do you want outlets??? I had no ideas, however, being a very opinionated electrician, he when ahead and placed them where outlets are suppose to be place.Amd they were where one needed them to be. Like he has done millions of them in his lifetime being in the trade. He'd have opinions about your kitchen and baths, too. If one could get him in an airplane, you could have your own electrician, kitchen and bath fitter. Good Luck

Retiredandcrazy said...

Good morning DogLover, you really must get out more. Specialist bathroom stores are really exciting places to waste a good morning. BUT, I ran into a fabulously helpful South African who was such a gem that I immediately placed an order.

Then I went to our local branch of the kitchen store, complained that I was not being treated right, they took over and again a fabulous young man took me in hand (as it where) and that, too, is sorted.

Not only that I have ordered wetroom stuff, tiles, and various odds and ends.

Just like that! One mornings work - job done!! Now THATS my kind of shopping.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Hi Jean Genie(us), surprisingly enough I didn't ask you because we would go to lunch instead of going shopping and achieve nothing.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Hello again Crystal Jigsaw. I agree, in a perverse way it is kind of exciting, Just as bungly jumping is perversly exiciting, but I wouldn't want to do it!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Well Flagmaker, what can I say? You have dropped hints that you know me, and now I'm on to you. You little devious person!

I can just imagine you giggling to yourself as you write your comments! Is you other half a party to this deception too?

Good fun isn't it? You should write a blog too - or do you already?

I asked a while ago if you knew me and you refrained from answering. But where did the alias Flagmaker come from?

Retiredandcrazy said...

Sorry, typo. I obviously meant bungie jumping.

American Genius said...

I like toilets.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Thank you for coming to call American Genius. Do your construction buddies take the piss out of you? Sorry, that is what we call in England "toilet humour".

Flagmaker said...

All you need is a young thing waiting on you and you're putty in their hands. There's nothing wrong with your thinking. Having such a person waiting on you makes the job much nicer. Sorta like the cowboy at Cody, he could do anything and it'd be great.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Ah yes Flagmaker, I remember Cody well. That was where we acted like 19 year old drooling cowgirls. The handsome bull rider that we were lusting after was very kind to us but it came as a bit of shock when he told us he did this to pay his way through college! Oh how our husbands laughed.