I’m Such a Dolt!

In the shower yesterday morning I suddenly decided to put some treatment wax on my dry and brittle hair.

Just drying it off I remembered it had been my intention to start knocking the thick plaster off my bathroom wall. It’s been bothering me since Paul and I moved in 20 years ago. It bothered him too and now the time has come to dispose of the extremely dated (guessing 1970s by the colour) and worn out bathroom fittings. My objection to the plastering is that the washbasin and bath are sunk into it, which looks awful – and the new washbasin is slightly bigger, so I intend to shove the whole thing back as far as it will go.

I know Paul wouldn’t have bothered with this extra mess (I’m been struggling with the extension upheaval for three months), so he would have taken the easier option of placing the basin in front of the existing wall  – but he didn’t have any problem leaning over it to reach up to open or close the window, as I do. So there I am, newly washed and treated hair, all done up in curls and about to start a very dusty job! Tried wearing the shower cap, but discovered it too tight for long periods, so I ended up Land Girl style with a scarf around my head. Not attractive, but perhaps a bit more acceptable when I then put a dust mask over my face – rather fancying my as a surgeon!

I was very mindful of chiselling my way around the washbasin and cistern, so as not to dislodge them from the wall. Not quite successful in that, as I came across a damp patch of plaster to the right of the basin and the whole lot fell off, leaving the basin rather precariously balanced. I wedged in a chunk of browning and now hoping for the best!

What to do with the wall cupboard posed another question. I need the things in it to be accessible. If I take it down now I’ll have to find a place for it and already the house is packed with boxes from the now demolished utility room and the about- to-be demolished kitchen. So – I’ve decided to leave the cupboard in place until the bathroom is about to be fitted, which will be after the disabled shower loo is installed downstairs (which may be some time!) I reckon the fiddly work is already done and as soon as the cupboard comes down I’ll get the plaster off quite quickly.

But what a job clearing up the mess – who have thought that small area would make so much rubble? Many bucketsful, but fortunately I have a large skip at the front! The strapping young Ben came by with Doodle the puppy as I was emptying some stuff – and asked what I was doing. I told him – to which he replied, “All by yourself?”

the dated bathroom
washbasin embedded into wall
close up

Work in Progress

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Born in Liverpool at the end of WW2, but raised in Skelmersdale. I first studied art in Southport from 1960-63 and worked in graphic design till I married. In December 1969 I moved to Zambia with my husband and two young children. There I taught art in the local girls school, illustrated for the National Correspondence College and did all sorts of other artwork, paid and unpaid. In 1978 I divorced and remarried in the summer of 1980. In 1985 I became ill and the following year cancer was diagnosed. There was no treatment available in Zambia and so I had to go to the UK. After recovering from a radium needle implant I went back to Zambia, but 18 months later the cancer recurred and it was off to the UK again for radical surgery. This time I realised I must stay in the UK where treatment was available, so I never returned to Zambia nor my husband. A few months later I applied for a degree course, but two years later the disease metastasised and I spent most of my final year in and out of hospital. It’s been a long hard road, but I’m still plodding on and it is now 24 years since my last cancer treatment. Because of my experience of cancer and surviving against the odds, I try and help others cope with their devastating diagnosis and prognosis.

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