Assuming that I have any left, regular readers will know that I have been rewiring my own house. This has taken me to corners of the cavity underneath the floorboards and the attic which I’d rather not have been. The attic is covered in glass wool loft insultation. Horrible stuff. It gets all over you and itches. I’m a big fellow. Some of the spaces I’ve worked in have been very small. It’s hard to show this with a photograph because I’m always jammed in the space and there isn’t someone else to take the shot. Until the work is safe, I can’t let anyone else in the house.
This humble hole leads to a box cavity above my shower. The shower is lit by a pesky downlight. I hate downlights now. I’d have them banned. They don’t work as well as other room lights which throw the light around. They generate lots of heat, which makes them a substantial fire risk (necessitating all sorts of other remedial strategies) and they are devilishly fiddly to install. I’ve changed my lighting plan considerably to abandon the inclusion of any further downlights. I’ll probably sell the others on ebay though that makes me feel guilty for perpetuating the bloody fad. That’s what they are: a fad which has got completely out of hand. In the future, they’ll be regarded as embarassing and people will be baffled about why so many householders installed them, in the same way that leylandii trees are now seen. Garden decking will also suffer this fate.
The hole above is only just wide enough for me to insert an arm into. I had to lie, face down into the ancient glass wool loft insulation (that’s the brown stuff you can see), stretched across the rafters, with my left arm completely inserted into the cavity and feel around until I found the cutout for the shower light, to feed the cable through. I am right-handed but I couldn’t lie the other way around because there are pipes in the way.
There’s the pipes. The beams coming down on the left of this image are not the edge of the house – there’s another room below to their left. I have to turn sideways to get between these beams. The secret to surviving this sort of carry on is to wear a facemask, a decent headtorch and kneepads. Kneepads are crucial! Why don’t they make them in bright colours though? What’s the point of making something black or dark green?
This was the trickiest working space I’ve ever been in my life. Six foot two is the wrong height to do this kind of work! In the picture above you can see the space to the left of the beams on the left of the previous picture. Oh look! There’s a secondary water tank. I guess the water tanks are put where they are easy to access but, for my purpose, they were in the way of everything I had to do. In this image you can see a dark round junction box. Inside that there’s the wiring arrangement to deal with an incoming cable, an outgoing cable, a cable to the bloody shower downlight and a cable to the switch.