Today was our final day of serious productivity before the school holidays, so we were out early changing our minds (again) about the bifold doors and going for the chunkier version than the one I'd chosen yesterday. Thankfully, the lovely Sandra at BAS has copious amounts of patience and clearly recognises a flibberty jibbert when she sees one. Anyway, they are now properly ordered and so are the sliding doors for the living room and I just can't wait to have a good fold and/or slide of them (you know, like when you buy a new washing machine and sit on the floor watching it wash your clothes - or is that just me?).
By half ten we'd made it into Liverpool after a couple of wrong turns and arrived at 'Built in Appliances' in Anfield. We used this shop last time we built an extension - it has the most amazing collection of appliances I've ever seen but can also bring on an option-induced headache within forty minutes. I honestly think they ought to offer a coffee machine and a dark room to have a lie down in because when you go there intending to kit out an entire kitchen, you soon realise that you probably ought to go out looking for one or two appliances at a time. Choice is one thing but choosing between 50 different cookers is no picnic at all.
Our kitchen designer has costed for appliances and advised us to go into the showroom to have a fiddle with them. This was good advice because you've no idea how ergonomic something is until you actually try to use it (and for the record, Smeg hobs have flimsy knobs, which shall henceforth be my mantra in life). Aside from this, you learn from your previous mistakes, which means I'm never having a range cooker again (too old to bend down) and nor am I having a stainless steel hob (too eagle-eyed not to notice the scratches) or an oven you need to clean with Mr Muscle spray, which makes my eyes run.
In the end we've gone for a combination of Siemens ovens (the holiday flat we rent in Cornwall has the same ones and they're an absolute joy) and reluctantly stuck with the Hotpoint fridge, which is cheap but will go wrong within a fortnight. Dr B had to be dragged screaming and kicking from a Miele gas hob, which I'll admit was a thing of beauty but carried a price tag to match and even Dr B's getting tired of pounding the corridors of the local private hospital to fund this renovation. Oh and then there was the chilled beer dispenser, which attaches to a keg and provides you with a cold beer 'within 5 minutes of being fitted' according to the label, which did make me laugh when I imagined some poor kitchen fitter trying desperately to plumb it in while Joe Bloggs has all his mates round, pint glass at the ready. Anyway, we're not having one of those, or at least if we are then I'm having a steam oven and a built in coffee maker as well and that's not going to happen in a month of Sundays.
By lunchtime we were practically dying over the Franke sinks and the Grohe mixer taps and escaped over to Chester via the Mersey tunnel, which is always something of an ordeal because I'm not fond of bodies of water and think if God had intended us to be travelling beneath them then he'd have fitted us with an oxygen tank. Lunch was in order, Dr B spotting a lovely tiled floor in 'The Chimneys' pub on the A41 and taking pictures of it on his i-phone, at which point I realised we've become a bit consumed by project managing this house and probably ought to take my friend Lisa's advice to 'get out a bit more.'
After lunch it was off to Rossett Tiles for a stroke of their Winchester Tiles collection (hand glazed apparently, though judging by the price tag of £109 per square metre I'm expecting they were also hand-carved by the children of celebrities on the back of the Al Fayed yacht). The ones you can see in the picture are the 'half tiles' in 'truffle' and 'blackberry', which are causing some disagreement between myself and Dr B because I think we ought to have them in the truffle or both colours and Dr B think we should go for the blackberry alone. We showed the picture to his mother, who pulled a face and suggested we'd get sick of the red ones before too long and now I'm wondering if she's got a point - we're trying to avoid too much 'neutral' which is hard in a world where we've become accustomed to painting everything in 'natural wicker' or 'bloody calico.'
So the jury's out on the tiles, though thankfully we don't need too many of them otherwise they'd have gone totally off the radar by now. Like the Miele gas hob, they truly are objects of beauty.