Monday, May 5, 2014

A womans work..

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I think it was specifically at the point, mid-morning, where I was supporting my weight on the bathroom window sill, elegantly squatting over an imaginary toilet marked out in pencil on bare cement, that I asked myself; "am I out of my depth here?"





I am project managing a building site and I'm making it up as I go along. Much to the amusement/ bemusement of my Tradies: affectionately known as the A-Team . They're all mates, and that makes my job easier because they co-ordinate, but best of all they're pedantic, perfectionists and clean.

The plumber was trying not to laugh and I was saying: "No, this will work - I have long legs right? - but most of that length is from knee to hip, so it's a good indicator."

He gave a resigned shrug and said, "OK, shuffle back a bit you're on the edge of the seat there," he looked like he was going to laugh. We were trying to measure out how much space was necessary between the toilet and the shower.

After my undignified squat on 'the imaginary throne', showed us we had ample space,  I made him (because he's broader than I am) stand in the imaginary cubicle and put his hands on his head. Elbow to elbow this , very scientifically, gave us the minimum measurement for the width of the shower. "You don't want to whack your elbows on the screen while you're washing your hair" I explained.

But this was just part of my day. Aside from being hair washing day, I'd already cooked breakfast for She-Who-Worships-Pink, packed the lunchbox, got her ready for/ and to, school (just in time) walking rather than driving for a change. I delivered her forgotten water bottle back to school, called the plumber twice on the road, stopped into Reece Plumbing and ordered the toilet pan, went back home for my reading glasses (God knows what I paid for that toilet -I couldn't read the invoice for the life of me).

I also experimented with tile removal using tools I bought six months ago for a job at home that's still not finished.  I watched a YouTube "removing tiles without breaking them" video first before going live with a hammer and chisel.
I was so proud; the tile I was working on slipped into my hand with neither fuss nor breakage and without damaging the render underneath.  Fueled with a certain smug enthusiasm I then went tile shopping.

After school run, while Pinkster danced her legs off in Jazz Ballet I popped home again, printed, paid and  filed invoices.

This new job as a building project manager (which pays as well as my writing - hah) started a month ago when we bought a one bedroom flat as an investment.
It was dated, run down and had an 'original' 50s bathroom in grey and pink.  The toilet bowl was pink, the sink was pink, the towel rail was pink, the soap holders were pink the loo-roll holder was pink, the tessellated floor tiles were grey and pink.  Even She-Who-Worships-Pink thought it was the ugliest bathroom on the planet.

But as real estate agents are fond of saying in these cases - it was: "Full of Potential". That is certainly true, but realising that potential (between 10am and 2:30pm) was more than I'd bargained for. You see it also had 1950's plumbing too and that is where the budget blow-out will no doubt come from. Not helping the situation is the Strata Managers (BCS) who have turned out to be as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike with their response(or lack thereof) to water-leak emergencies, general information, repairs.. um even responding to phone calls.

So that was my day. The Orange dog, on the other hand, had an excellently indulgent day, starting with the walk to school with the usual hugs and petting from a ton of uniformed kids. On to the flat for some more petting and fuss from the plumber and his apprentice. Then a walk on the foreshore where he scored more fuss and adoration from two strangers. At Reece plumbing supplies he lay on his back in the showroom - legs akimbo with no less than four sales people taking turns rubbing his belly.

He was a bit disgusted to have zero attention in the tile store but after a drive through KFC where he was compensated with half a box of popcorn chicken, his fragile ego was forgotten.
The walk back to school and Ballet class, is always a guaranteed cuddle-fest but two little girls in leotards kept him company today while I took Pinkster in and helped her get changed.

Tomorrow I have to order carpet and buy bathroom tiles by end-of-day. I need to meet with the tiler on site first thing (after school run) and discuss what and how many I need to buy and what we can do to cover up the ugly mottled and broken peach monstrosities that serve as a very poor imitation of a kitchen splash-back.

I'm guessing tomorrow will be another day that I won't see the inside of a gym, lunch with anyone, get a haircut, pedicure, flu shots, Botox, or even a quick coffee with a girlfriend.





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13 comments:

  1. well that is me told! he hee

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    1. We didnt get coffee but it was nice almost shopping for tiles with ya!

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  2. Wow, that is certainly one full on day but how amazing to be project-managing your renovations. I have done the same with flood repairs and it is great to know what is going on at all times...and how it works. Good job! :)

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    1. Hey Tanya, thanks for the comment- it's a learning curve huh?

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  3. Good luck that the renos go to plan. I have a friend with that exact same pink tiled bathroom and toilet! It was as if you were describing it. Luckily her hubby works at Bunnings and is a tradie, he just has to find the time :)

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  4. Alicia, I have seriously cosidered applying for a part-time job at Bunnings- not just for the staff discount but also the opportunity to browse :0)

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  5. No doubt you could teach them a thing or two too. Hope you're having fun. Sx

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    1. If by fun you mean scrubbing the 'trades' toilet (discovered next to the communal laundry) that looks like it hasnt seen a scrubbing brush fir decades.. Yeah! It's like a white volcano now- foaming with clorine bleach & amonia :0)

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  6. Oh wow, good on your for project managing! I have allocated that job to my hubby when we finally decide to get our renovation show on the road. I figure I've done enough project managing of our family these past years and so it's his turn. But in all honesty, would you believe I also bought a renovating book for women called 'Built Like A Woman' just to be prepared?

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    1. Youre either very brave Eva, or your husband has more visualisation skill & basic grasp of engineering concepts than mine. Mr Frenchi would have sliding doors that slide across other openings for starters :0)
      I wonder if there's a 'renovations for Dummies' book too - yours sounds good

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  7. Wow that is awesome that you are taking control of it all! I'm a bit of a control freak so I would probably try to do the same, but hubby would NOT let me!

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    1. Thanks Emily, it's a lot of leg work but the Tradies are really helpful - they have low expectations with women I think and that often turns out to be an advantage..Husbands don't often get the "OH!, here let me help you with that.." and they're keen to show off their muscles which can turn into a lot of heavy lifting and carrying :0)

      I'm sure you'd do a fantastic job x

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