‘Göksel! Who he?’ I hear you ask in best Private Eye fashion. Göksel is an Okçular boy, a university graduate, he’s reliable, he communicates, speaks reasonable English, turns up when he says he’s going to turn up, he’s in huge demand and he’s our plumber!
Göksel at work stripping out the old bathroom
By our plumber I mean he did the original pipework on our house 17 years ago and has dealt with everything that plumbers deal with that I couldn’t handle ever since. Göksel is a real gem!
Now, 17 years doesn’t seem long ago, but back then sit-on toilets were a bit of a novelty around here. Central heating with radiators was something that involved a fair bit of guesswork and the hope that the customer had some sort of idea about rad size as calculations based on B(ritish) T(hermal) U(nit)s were not something that plumbers in rural Turkey gave much thought to! That said, the heating system has kept our place cosy through each winter ever since – we have no complaints.
the ‘old’ hydro bath and tile scheme
So, when we decided to re-vamp my bathroom to get me out of J’s bathroom and make it suitable for my abla/older sister when she visits (the original tiles were dangerous when wet and were a serious mistake), it was to Göksel that we turned making it clear that we wanted him to oversee the whole process.
The timetable went something like this: Thursday evening – phoned Göksel. Friday morning he came to look. Friday 2pm came with tiler to measure up – 2.30 to Ortaca to choose and order tiles, loo, sink, etc. (no payment). Home by 4.30. Sunday evening Göksel phoned to say starting 9am Monday.
Monday 8.30am Göksel and three guys arrive with tractor, trailer, sand, cement, tools. Old loo, bath, sink, radiator out and the jack-hammering begins.
jack-hammer in – rubbish out
12.40pm all old tiles, muck, etc over the balcony and into trailer – guys off to lunch. 2pm bit of drilling and new pipe runs. 4pm boxes of new tiles, new loo, sink, shower fittings, etc. delivered. Recessed cistern fitted.
5pm tractor and trailer with rubbish gone – electrician due in 30 mins. Göksel will be back in the morning. Possible rain so all gear stashed in my workshop – most impressed!
Tuesday 9am three plasterers arrived – worked all day – a bit messy but cleaned up and even washed down the yard – even more impressed! Everything ready for the tiling usta/craftsman to start tomorrow.
Wednesday 8.30am two tilers arrived and started right away – hosepipe up the stairs – silly to worry! Worked solidly all day with delays caused by power cuts – left at 7pm and will return tomorrow to finish off.
Thursday tilers finished and gone by 1pm.
Friday 8.30am Göksel and two other plumbers arrive and start fitting everything. Electrician fits new lights etc. and architrave guys arrive to do their bit – all going on at the same time! Meanwhile, at 10.30 the tractor and trailer arrived from the builder’s supplies and started to load up the sand and cement that was excess to requirements and he took away all the waste! In the evening the painter arrived to paint the ceiling and architrave.
Saturday 9.30am carpenter arrived to fit new architrave around the door. 6pm Göksel arrived to check over the job. Shower screen has not been delivered yet so can’t complete.
Tuesday 5pm two guys arrive and fit the shower screen. Job jobbed!
It looks brilliant! Don’t ever try and tell me that you can’t get good workers these days. My miserable photos don’t do justice to the richness of the colour and ‘feel’. Costs: all materials – 5100 lira; labour – 2350 lira – total 7450 lira or about £2000. Thank you Göksel Usta – you really are a ‘Little Beauty’!
Alan Fenn, I’m so happy my skin has gone wrinkly!