Before the heating worked, I’d lie in bed at night and weigh up how badly I needed to use the loo. Would a burst bladder be the worst thing in the world? At least I’d be cosy as it exploded, snug as a bug under my duvet, three blankets and woolly hat sellotaped to my head. When pee levels reached critical and I conceded that I absolutely had to leave my cocoon, I’d still wonder ‘What harm just going in the bed? At least I’d be warm…for a while.’ 

My journey with plumbing started last year. Summer 2018 was multiple-showers-a-day warm. The place I was staying pre-move decided to redo the bathroom three minutes after I arrived which wasn’t ideal. I was up sweat creek without a shower. For the next three months I had no choice but to transform myself into the Bear Grylls of showering. Every morning, I’d leave the house armed with my survival kit (razor and a tiny shampoo). There wasn’t a shower in the greater Dublin area I didn’t horse my naked pelt under. If you sat beside me on the Luas, chances are, I’d try and inveigle my way into your en-suite. 

When I finally moved in to my palace, my dreams of hot showers on tap were close to becoming a reality. Turning the house into a building site almost instantly put these daydreams on ice however, so I was forced to hit the road one last time, wash-bag by my side. Autumn/winter shower foraging was trickier and my standards dropped rapidly. The kettle and dry shampoo soon became my best friends. I comforted myself with assurances that everything ‘would all be sorted by Christmas’. If only I had a selection box for every time I heard that old chestnut. 

To read the rest of this column, the November/December issue of House and Home Magazine is available in shops now.