The snow turned to ice so the yard entertainment or a death trap depending on whether you were the one falling over or watching. The most important job of the day was to right the wrongs of yesterdays DIY which was why I was found baffled in B and Q looking at toilets that came in all shapes, colours and sizes, had heated seats, piped music, padding (God forbid) for sensitive behinds, novelty flushers and none of which remotely resembled the pre 1900 Armitage Shanks original Old Thunderer Dirtbox currently leaking on our bathroom floor. I finally settled for one that was the right colour, white, and marked "reduced" which meant it had to be alright as it was a bargain. The reason it was reduced was that several key components were missing. Thankfully I was rescued from my torment when faced with racks of plumbing accessories by a very helpful man called Dave (he should have been called Steve but like he said he was from a different valley) who found a bendy connector thingy, an all new innards for the second toilet in the cottage (why repair one when you can repair two) and several shiny bits of metal that he was sure I would find a use for.
Back at the ranch the second toilet was repaired in a matter of minutes by the fitting of a new flush mechanism, several million gallons of water falling out of it didn't matter as this specimen is in a "wet room". It also provided essential research for the real thing upstairs. Thus, now thoroughly acquainted with the anatomy of a toilet I set about the wounded beast upstairs and this time without a hammer. All went well, as in, we now have a new toilet, it works, significantly it doesn't leak, it flushes when prompted, in all it does exactly what you would want a toilet to do. This was achieved despite the instruction book containing a vast array of instructions and diagrams all of which were not for this model. As per usual the smallholder rule of one job finished creates two more applies. The Old Thunderer Dirtbox model was a bit bigger than the new sleek modern version which would, if it could, fit flush to the wall. This it cannot do as the waste pipe is a foot from the wall and runs down through the cottage, even the flexi soil pipe cannot contort into the shape required to get it closer to the wall, so toilet is freestanding, proud, like an exhibit in the bathroom which means there is a huge patch on the wall where the cistern hung that now needs decorating. I do have a plan to "box" the back of the new combi toilet cistern off, making it appear like its all attached to the wall rather than sitting in the middle of the room, but that will have to wait until the apprentice smallholders room is finished.
The floor of his bedroom was attempted today, having opted for a glueless almost like wood floor system it seems that the bits will only hold together with the optional application of glue, will only lie flat if there is a less than 2mm variance in surface level (in an old cottage, yeah right) so the door was shut as the task got to the halfway point and a rethink is underway. So in relation to DIY tasks 2 completed out of three ain't bad and nothing else broke and no one got hurt.