IMAGINARY INTERVIEWER: Don’t hold back now, tell us: what exactly is wrong with it?
ME: Well now you ask, it’s a lean-to extension of nightmares. A breeze-block built flat-roof topped testament to shit building work everywhere. Wait. I’ll put it in list form. It’ll be easier for all of us.
1. It’s downstairs and it’s the only one.
2. Water pressure.
It’s actually got good strong water pressure but entirely but to the detriment of the kitchen taps. In a bizarre crime against plumbing, the mains drinking water goes to the bathroom sink, then diverts to the kitchen where it can take as many as three days to fill a kettle. At least that’s what it feels like. (On the plus side, I diligently only ever boil as much as I need)
3. I can walk into the bathroom to check the external temperature without actually going outside.
4. The sides of the bath aren’t solid.
They wobble and some bits have broken off. I don’t know how to fix that and I’m not spending one cent on that shitty ice box of a room.
5. The tiling is of the sort that doesn’t show stains.
That’s its’ secret. They are matte and of a mottled pattern that doesn’t show stains. But even when the place is clean the mottleyness of them make them look like they might be grubby. They are also of a beigey hue I would never pick in my life. Ooh! Can you paint tiles?
6. There’s two windows. One has an inner window sill, one doesn’t.
Both should. Replacing the single glaze windows at the back of our house when we moved in was one task that necessitated some money being allocated to the bathroom. I came home to one changed bathroom window and quizzed the man about the whereabouts of the sill. He thought I didn’t want it. This was so weird and it confused me enough at the time that I didn’t push it with him. So he didn’t put it back and then he did put a sill in on the other one. The saving grace of this is that we immediately let him go from the other much larger job we were about to engage him on. Chalk it up to things I would never let a tradesperson away with now.
7. It’s got pointless external insulation.
This is something we paid people to do to our house in 2009. This was incredible foresight (luck) on our part both for the two snowy winters that followed and the long-gone availability of a government grant that covered most of the cost. Our house is super toasty except for this one room due to the flat roof made of – possibly – fairy whispers. For the love of humanity the COLD.
8. Put the seat down. And the lid.
Ok this might be the three males I live withs’ fault rather than the actual bathroom. One of them doesn’t even use a toilet yet, but he likes to run in ahead of the five year old to make sure the lid is up for him, like some sort of toilet-valet.
9. Don’t touch my toothbrush (Why I want an ensuite).
My children won’t stop knocking over my toothbrush, or sticking it in their germy gobs or just turning it on for the craic. I bought that expensive Tri-Zone 7000 and my €6 toothpaste for my gammy sensitive gums. Just leave it alone and go back to the Lidl brushes you chew to bits every month.
If I had an ensuite no one would go near my toothbrush but me.
10. Toilet training.
Oh yes, it’s so handy having a downstairs bathroom during potty training time. Not having an upstairs bathroom to go with it…not so handy. Potty in the kids’ bedroom for morning emergency weeing worked when there was a solo occupant. Two of them messing about in there? No. Way.
11. Pregnancy weeing.
No chance of deep vein thrombosis for me with the amount of midnight stair climbing I did.
12. The words: “Mammy I need to pee” spoken between 11pm and 7am.
Any self respecting five year old should be able to shimmy out of bed and into the bathroom at night. But most don’t have to go down the stairs, through the living room then the kitchen and finally into the Ice Box of Doom. Given you have to traverse 80% of the house to get from bed to loo the meagre square footage of the whole place is perhaps a blessing in disguise.
13. The radiator.
It’s about a foot wide and completely rubbish. And the bottom of it is rusty now.
14. Cat poo in the bath.
When you gotta go, you gotta go. This has happened maybe twice a year since we moved in. Kudos to the cat though, it’s easily cleaned and sterilised in there. It’s better than Wonderful Wagon’s dog shit on the bed, and also it’s better than cat poo on the hob which happened that one time*