Today was Central Heating Day, chez Les Tigres. The problem was that we knew they would be accessing every room in the flat (front room, bathroom, hallway and back room) simultaneously. This made it extremely difficult to decide where I could stay and keep Freya from getting involved with the work. We reckoned they would not need access to one corner of the front room and there I built a sort of enclosure for Freya and me. The difficult part was always going to be keeping Freya where she was supposed to be!
I managed to get everything tidied away by the time the plumbers arrived at 8 am. They took one look at the back room and decided it would be impossible to follow the plan. This required the boiler to be fitted in one corner and a radiator to be sited almost diagonally opposite it. This in turn meant pipes crossing the room. They decided that this was impossible because of the amount of furniture and boxes in the room and the fact that the floor had been covered with hardboard, making it difficult to raise the floor boards. In the end, we compromised by fitting the radiator on the wall on the same side of the room as the boiler. This had this merit of placing all the central heating installation in a straight line from the living room, through the bathroom to the back room.
It was the noisiest work so far. First they ran an industrial vacuum cleaner continuously and then switched on their radio. After half an hour my hearing was fuzzy. As I suffer from a loss of hearing anything that attenuates it still further always worries me. I hoped it would return to normal when the noise ceased.
The plumbers made good progress though I couldn’t watch as I was too busy keeping Freya from straying. She settled down for a while on my knee so I was able to read but after that became active and wanted to explore, despite being frightened of the noise and the coming and going. Have you noticed how workmen pick up a tool, use it and then throw it down onto the floor? I became very aware of the habit today. I have to give them credit for working continually and well. They had finished the job by about 12:30 pm and only needed to clean up and carry their boxes of tools out to the lorry. The heating and hot water are now fully functional. What luxury!
We have the weekend off, so to speak, and are thinking of playing “Big Chess” again, by which I mean moving furniture and boxes around in order to put the bed back where it belongs – in the bedroom – and set this in some semblance of order. I was warned someone would be along to “commission the boiler”, i.e. to carry out tests on it, so we will have to arrange matters so that they can get access.
The new bathroom will be installed on Monday. The washbasin and toilet are currently stacked behind the temporary sink. I am looking forward to the new toilet as the current one is very old and cranky. To flush, you press a knob but you have to press very hard, or rather, fast. You have up to three goes to get it to flush after which it gives up. You have to wait at least an hour between flushes. I will not be sad to bid it goodbye.
The new kitchen goes in on Tuesday and then the tilers come along to do their bit and the flooring people come to floor the whole front room. On Friday, the front room cum kitchen will be completely decorated. It will be a hectic week but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel at last.