Our Flooring Man had had a cancellation and had offered Francine the possibility of getting our new flooring down on this Thursday and Friday. “Why on earth not?”, we thought.

Not content with having just the newly developed kitchen-diner done, madam wanted the flooring continued seamlessly out into the reshaped hall AND into the downstairs loo. Franco piped up and suggested going for broke; why not do the utility room as well? [More of that another day.] That would leave our lounge as the only unaffected downstairs room and the only one retaining a pleasant, comfortable under-foot carpet.

The downstairs loo/cistern was original and so has been in the house since 1980. We were quite keen that it should be renewed. Francine was quite keen that it should be renewed now. So, our friendly plumber came in and ripped out all the fittings to allow the new flooring to be laid unhindered. Good idea.Think of it as a little side project to make me have to redecorate even more of the house.

Having knocked two rooms together and chopped up a goodly portion of the floor to lay new services for radiators and island power supply, the first job was to level the floor with new, self-levelling screed. The screed would take 5-6 hours to set.

Spot the problem, people.

The lounge and conservatory would be usable [we’d decamped there again] but, with the hall off limits, anyone there couldn’t get anywhere else in the house. One simply cannot have a lady put in the position of having no access to a loo for in excess of 5 hours – setting time plus the laying time up front. Francine was confined to the tower with just her mobile phone for company. Oh, the landline and Internet were off to make way for the flooring, too.

Franco, on the other hand, had a handily arranged lunch appointment and was locked downstairs on the opposite side of the sea of screed to facilitate his escape. There’s always the back garden for a chap’s relief, as long as the neighbours aren’t looking.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I returned from lunch armed with an evening meal requiring no cooking, Flooring Man had finished [at about 14:00] and two large and quite noisy fans were blowing air over the new flooring screed to assist drying. Rapunzel, as Francine was now affectionately tagged, remained locked in the tower and I settled down to peace and puzzles in the conservatory. [Zzzzzzz …]

Throwing down her hair wasn’t going to rescue Rapunzel from the tower, despite fairy tales. Besides, it would be like climbing a spiral staircase. I did consider putting a ladder up to the window to get her out but clambering back up it to visit a loo might not be a good thing. It’d give the neighbours a good laugh, though.

Evening approached.

Disaster! Neither of us could reach the wine store under the stairs. As the only occupant with access to the outside world, I valiantly volunteered to pop out to a local shop to fix our oversight.

Second disaster! We now had wine but neither of us could get to our glasses which were painted into a corner in the new dining area. Neighbours to the rescue this time; after a crie de cœur two wine glasses magically appeared over the garden fence. Luckily our finger tips could just about reach each other without treading in a sea of screed and the glasses just passed through the banisters.

We had a test prod of the floor surface at 19:00; it felt firm enough but we gave it another 30 minutes before Rapunzel finally escaped the tower via the conventional route.

What fun.

Posted in 2020 Covid-19 Knockdown

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