Saturday’s small DIY job: clean grouting and replace mouldy seal around shower and bath. Not too taxing. Or so you’d be forgiven for thinking.
Friday – buy what I think is white anti-mould sealant and Grout Reviver in lovely hardware shop in Coulsdon to avoid having to go to Big Scary B & Q on a Saturday.
Saturday – writing, haircut, blah, blah, blah.
Unibond Group Reviver – looks simple enough. Covers ‘up to’ 60m. You use it like a pen and colour in old grouting. Depress nib. Works once. Lasts for about 5 mins. Depress nib again, nib disappears inside. Pull nib out with tweezers. Try again. Get another couple of minutes use, same thing. Verdict: not fit for purpose. It’s going back.
Start removing all old grout using variety of kitchen implements. Get told off. Matt insists a Stanley knife is the tool for the job. Great for cutting through old sealant but rubbish at getting the stuff off. Sneak kitchen knife back into bathroom. Open sealant. Find packaging has changed and I have mistakenly bought version that needs ‘gun’. Matt points out ‘guns’ come in different sizes. Matt draws circle on piece of paper and says that’s the size you need. I tell Matt he had better come to Big Scary B & Q with me. Bought ‘gun’, extra sealant that did not need gun (gun looks very awkward) and filler for an unrelated DIY job we had stopped half-way through – because we couldn’t face going to B & Q. Matt very happy with new gun. Is playing guns with it from the passenger seat as police car goes past. Get home. Open sealant only to discover it is translucent (my mistake, but I am a bit blind and who the hell uses translucent sealant in a bathroom anyway?). Matt very excited and decides to re-seal the kitchen sink with it. He loves the new gun. I use back-up sealant. It looks a bit like a fire extinguisher for home use. I squeeze the trigger. The sealant comes out of every part of the tube other than the nozzle. Once depressed the trigger won’t move. Sealant goes everywhere. Meanwhile Matt has finished and is busy looking for other things to seal.
Back to B & Q, this time on my own. Anticipate being told I have made ‘user error’ and don’t want Matt to see me at my worst. Lovely young man at customer service (I’ve reached that age) takes one look, says ‘Oh, dear,’ and gives me a full refund. Speechless. (Where was he when I tried to return wall paper with black marks all over it?) I buy the lowest tech option available, which is basically an icing bag but with sealant. All I have to do is snip off the nozzle. Also buy white spirit to get rid of the sealant that went everywhere.
So I snip the nozzle of the white sealant (yes, I did check the colour on the label). The sealant is translucent. I find sealant from last time I did this job. Great low-tech design. No trigger. Nothing that could explode. Why oh why did they introduce a ‘new and improved’ design? (And don’t get me started on how it is impossible for something to be both ‘new’ and ‘improved’.) By now, I am completely obsessed with the idea that I MUST get this job finished tonight.
Trip 3 to B & Q. It is no longer scary. I am scary. Almost completely deserted as anyone sensible is eating their tea. Different person on customer services. (Lovely lady with pink hair.) Another refund. She snips nozzle off new tube while I am in store. Here Madam: white sealant. Finally, I have something I can actually use! Actual job takes under 10 mins. Plus three hours farting about.