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For the want of a nail …

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

At times I felt like I was living that nursery rhyme.

Take Madam Plush’s makeover, for example. It started with ripping out the existing carpet in the back lounge, a weary, stained excuse for a floor covering.

As I lifted the first corner I noticed a big damp patch and had no clue as to its origin.

Most of the carpet came off fine, until I tried to unscrew the eight Phillips head screws holding the raised base that originally held a table long missing in action. The first four unscrewed with ease, the remainder seemed welded to the floor and the base.

WD40 initially held promise, but these screws were rusted solid. Pliers, hammers, curses … and other tools of the home handyman finally broke them loose, but left some unsightly holes behind.

Soon after I found the source of the moisture, it was the built-in Porta-Potti. Apparently it had not been used for so long that every bit of rubber had perished or turned into a rigid mass. And when I had topped it up a week or so ago with the regulation fluids [not bodily, but recommended by the manufacturer] the water simply bypassed the bottom collector and pooled underneath, and over time found a way to seep out into the lounge area.

Luckily the Porta-Potti had not yet been used as intended, but the existing floor needed a couple of days of airing and heating to dry out.

Because of the leak I could not put in the new flooring, because of that, I could not start building the ‘office’, because of that I could not build in filing space and shelving, and all for the want of a bit of rubber.

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