- Order of 5 bathrooms placed: 2 x baths, 5 x toilets, 5 x showers, 5 x taps, 5 x mixers, 5 x sinks (1 x small, 3 x medium, 1 x large). Bathrooms to arrive in London depot following day. Delivery must take place this weekend.
- Missing, but still 100% needed ASAP: 4 x shower traps, 5 x shower unit half inch pieces (essentially the thing attaching shower hose neatly to the wall/ tile), 5 x bathroom sink drainage pipes.
Friday 30th August:
- Darren establishes ordered bathrooms' cubic volume, weight, and therefore van size needed to transport to France.
Darren finds appropriate van to hire. Van must be quickly reachable from Darren’s office, and then able to reach bathroom depot by 5pm before close.
Darren establishes if van is insured for French trip and if our Eurotunnel ticket is applicable for the van.
Darren cycles home to pick up passport, driving license, and then cycles to pick up van from Kings Cross.
Drives van to bathroom depot and loads in the bathrooms.
Picks up Katya from home to drive to Kent to stay near to tunnel (thank you Ashford based aunt and uncle for taking us in overnight at extremely short notice)
Wine is drunk, curry is eaten. Sleep is slept.
Saturday 31st August
10.20 channel tunnel train caught.
1 tap and 1 sink are unwrapped during channel crossing due to extreme overexcitement and general inability to wait another few hours.
No satnav installed in van, and limited internet access on the road via iPhone, so driving is via general guesswork and by memory and instinct mainly.
No iPod dock, and a bag of CDs grabbed in a hurry elicits some interesting entertainment options. A Daily Mail free CD reading of Famous Five Go Adventuring, four ‘Learn Italian in a Week’ CDs (so useful), and Madonna's Celebration (lucky Darren), and some mix-tape CD style randomers.
No rear view mirror takes some getting used to when driving. Journey looks like the below, from Calais to Chalet (unintentional rhyme, but I like it). Windscreen flies an' all.
- First four hours are BOOOORING and flat. Northern France is super dull to drive through, and only when Dijon is passed does the countryside get more interesting, spectator passenger wise.
15.00 – a disappointing service station lunch stop off when on-the-road sandwich favourite – a tartiflette Panini – is not available. Disaster. Elderly chips and a panicked cheese and ham under pressure decision later and this feels terribly flat…
20.00 Arrive in Morzine
Go straight to chalet in dying evening light, throw open all shutters and get thoroughly over excited about all stud wall holders (technical term) being in place. This means all bedrooms and bathrooms can be walked into and around, and room sizes are totally confirmed. All feels very real…
20.30 Arrive at nearby neighbours (who extremely kindly put us up in spare room with all of a day’s notice), and an ace bolognaise doesn’t touch the sides. Or the homemade garlic bread. Or the wine. Lots of wine.
Sunday 1st September (oh god SEPTEMBER!)
Early start. Over excited site visit, in pyjamas (me not Darren). Which ended up being over long site visit in pyjamas, scrambling up temporary terrifying ladder to top floor amid plenty of dust, and downstairs via new built staircase (temporary).
Several organic decisions occur, including TV position (a real genuine argumentative issue before, with no easy or obvious solution), dining table position, fireplace position. All solved, all totally not obvious until walls in situ and it suddenly all made sense.
Decisions are order of the day, and washing machine position is also confirmed (in lieu of new garage extension, which is likely to now take place next year), which will be in water tank cupboard.
Sinks are unwrapped. Two don't fit. Dammit. Need reordering ASAP.
Fingertip plotting of each bedroom, bathroom, living space to confirm which light, where. Uplighters, downlighters, spot, LED, wall, pendant. Pointing at walls - there? Yeah, sure...this all takes a surprisingly long time.
Realise it's Sunday and shops are all shut...so no possibility of contribution to neighbourly evening BBQ next door. Thank goodness for generous neighbours who cook lovely BBQs and don't mind welcoming people along who miss the shops...
Part Two to follow shortly...