'Round or square'? he said.
Shit. I had no idea, as the thing I had in mind had kind of rounded bits and kind of square bits. I nearly legged it and never went back, but instead I blushed and said 'um, can I see them both?'.
It was a square one, most of them are. In fact I've only ever seen one round one and it was from the 1950s. The cistern was made from asbestos. I'm sure he knew that.
On Monday I went into see D, the plumber's merchant that J the plumber introduced me to. They've known each other since they were 10, and call each other 'Marmite mangler', which seems to me to be a 10 year old's insult if ever there was one.
All right? he said. What can I do for you today?
I need a WC siphon please, I said. Low level? he said. No, close-coupled, I said. And it needs to be kind of short. Eight inch two-part do you? he said. Perfect, I said. And a doughnut washer, please.
Rubber or foam? he said. Oooh, I said, I've only used the foam ones. What do you think?
I'd go for rubber, he said, you get a bit more give.
Rubber it is then, I said. (And he was right). In fact I got two, and am currently wearing the other one as a sort of 80s-style bangle.
I'm still waiting for the final photo opportunity that will seal my NVQ (I thought a plasterboard chase would do, but turns out it needs to be masonry). But nonetheless, there is progress.