07 July 2011
Sometimes it is best to keep your nose right out of other people's business and this is a lesson I have learned this week.
As you will remember, I was doing a bathroom for a friend of Claire who has just split with her husband. Sounds simple enough – aah no, not really. I should have put two and two together when I did the quote, because the bathroom they already had was almost new. She just said she didn't like it and I figured it was a case of more money than sense.
Turns out he chose the bathroom and she hated it, so the minute he was out the door she set about changing it. I tried to convince her that the main white suite could be reused and that she shouldn't be wasting her money. There was nothing wrong with the bath, basin and wc – but she is adamant that nothing in her whole house should remain as it was.
Fair enough. So I start ripping it out. The next thing that happens is her ex coming back to the house. The neighbour (who is a mate of his) had called him to let him know his precious brand new bathroom was being ripped out.
He is standing in the hallway having it out with her. I have been told to stop what I am doing because it is still his house, he is still on the mortgage and he should have been told. She is telling him that he should have told her he was going off with a new woman. Well, that shut him up pretty quickly.
Anyway it was too late by then. The bathroom was gutted and the new stuff had been delivered. Eventually he calms down. She tells him that she always hated the bathroom and that it reminds her of him. He feels guilty, apologises and she says it's OK. Meanwhile I am asking if I can carry on.
This isn't the first time I have been involved in marital goings on and I wish I could just steer clear. I don't want to take sides. Of course, Claire is siding with her mate and I don't blame her because the husband has been a real rat. But all I want is to be paid for the work I agreed to do.
However, the bathroom she wants is 100 times better than the monstrosity he had installed. His was all eighties gold taps and patterned tiles. Hers is streamlined stone look tiling, a mirrored wall and a very luxurious roll top bath. Perhaps that was why he left – she wasn't traditional enough for him.
Luckily this job will be done by the end of next week. I have already done most of the tiling and the plumbing. The mirror wall will be interesting. It is going behind the bath. In my opinion it will be a nightmare because it will be splashed with water all the time, but the position is ideal for reflecting light.
It has been a relief this week to go home and be able to relax. But guess what – Claire has an eye on the property pages again!
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