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October 22, 2007

Bathroom%20pix.jpgI have renovated two bathrooms in my life and it was two too many. The last involved a runaway plumber in West London who demanded cash payment half way through the job and then failed to come back. Subsequent calls to his mobile switched immediately to a soundtrack of machine gun fire.

My fear of plumbers might explain why I have put off renovating my French bathroom for so long. But it very badly needs a facelift. Behind the open door [shown left] lies a shower tray that takes half an hour to empty, due the fact it was used as a receptacle for builders rubble early on in the house renovations. Taking a shower is thus an exciting race against the clock: you have approximately two minutes before the tray fills up and overflows onto the floor [which is tiled in the manner of a public convenience circa 1960 with hideous beige speckled tiles].

But I am now in the final stages of planning the makeover, which will be carried out by Monsieur Artus, the excellent local plumber. He too disappeared the last time he worked for me. The difference was that he had done the job [connecting my house to the mains drainage] superbly and had not asked for any payment at all, other than the original, neatly typed and detailed devis. I had to pursue him in order to pay - and even then it was three weeks before he finally got round to sending me the bill. Imagine! Dear old Monsieur Artus has (almost) convinced me that not all plumbers are crooks and brigands.

comments (8)

1. Posted by sarahbeebee on October 22, 2007 2:40 PM

Hmm. I'm not so sure. French plumbers might be different but here in the UK I think you can assume that 99.9% of plumbers ARE crooks and brigands.

2. Posted by Dave B on October 22, 2007 3:36 PM

Mimi, what do you do to these poor plumbers to make them disappear?

3. Posted by Lily le Vine on October 22, 2007 4:54 PM

Can you please hurry....I can't visit until you have 'cleaned up your act'.....my showers last a minimum of 30 minutes and I don't wnat to flood the place.....how do you cope??


4. Posted by Eagle Wings on October 22, 2007 9:35 PM

I have had my plumber for the past two years & no problems (in London too!). Perhaps they fear the sight of the bathroom?

5. Posted by Markyj on October 22, 2007 11:52 PM

Exciting stuff, can't wait to see what you do with it, though, anything will be an improvement on the circa 1960s karsy - or indeed the 'po' as French slang goes - that you currently have.

6. Posted by Jonathan J on October 23, 2007 10:08 AM

Does Monsieur Artus travel? In my patch of London, the term 'good plumber' is an oxymoron. I imagine his rates are cheaper too. I was recently quoted £100 an hour by on Chelsea firm, and worse they had 'no idea' how long the job (plumbing in a new bathroom suite) would take.

7. Posted by queen of provence on October 23, 2007 1:10 PM

You do surprise me! You mean to say that your bathroom isn't all limestone and designer fittings?

8. Posted by jeannie on October 24, 2007 11:51 AM

Have you not gone fashionably organic and opted for a 'compostable' toilet...?! They're really all the rage over here. Just remember it can't be as traumatic as fitting out your last bathroom......................can it.........? x

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