Chap Who Has Everything Home

Bought the best Aqualisa iLux Digital shower available; but it takes a week to get a service engineer! [Updated]

Screenshot 2014-12-15 22.19.32

A while ago my wife began talking about renovations. I nodded along. We bought our main place in the summer.

We’ve actually been living in it for a few years as we initially rented it — and, like the proverbial Victor Kiam catchphrase, we liked it so much, we bought it. Or, more accurately, we were able to buy it privately so it was a good opportunity.

The understanding was that once we completed, we’d set about fixing it up.

We set aside a good amount of cash.

I reminded my wife that she could do as she pleased in terms of decor. This is our operating model. I just specified one thing: I want the absolute best shower you can possibly buy.

When my wife mentioned that the plumber recommended a shower that came with it’s own remote control, I was sold.

I just said yes. That one.

Oh, I also specified, THE BIGGEST, too. I mean in terms of rainfall shower head.

So we’ve ended up with a massive 18” (I think) Aqualisa monstrosity. It’s brilliant. Utterly excellent. It comes with four programmable buttons along with the obligatory temperature and flow controls. The idea is that you get all the settings to your liking and then press-and-hold on one of the buttons (numbered 1-4). That then becomes your default setting. Hit number ‘1’ and boom, the shower activates to your precise specifications. In practice it needs maybe 5 seconds to get ready.

I love it.

The remote control takes things one step further. Yes. It’s exactly what you’re thinking. You can lie in bed, reach for the Aqualisa remote control and hit ‘1’. Boom. The shower turns on and sets itself to your requirements. And you’re STILL in bed. Come on!

The exact model we went for was the iLux Digital Shower.

I relished the opportunity of being able to hit ‘1’, and then lift myself out of bed and straight into the waiting heat.

I haven’t, however, managed to try out the remote control.

That’s because after three days of great showers, the unit just stopped working.

The plumber ‘looked at it’ and then declared he didn’t know what was wrong.

So my wife’s been on to Aqualisa. And they’re sending a guy out “next week”.

To be accurate, this was Wednesday (if memory serves) last week.

The support chappy is apparently due this Wednesday.

A seven day service level is rubbish.

Yes, this is a #firstworldproblem. Definitely.

But having blown the equivalent of a decent MacBook Pro, I am deeply unsatisfied.

To make matters worse (and, I’m looking at you, Aqualisa), I am reminded of this deep satisfaction every flipping morning when I SIT in the flipping bath and use the highly annoying shower-thing attached to the (new) bath.

To be fair, the pressure is excellent on the shower-thing.

I then shave in the double sink trying not to look at the dormant Aqualisa shower behind me.

I haven’t even had time to fill out the guarantee and I am already highly frustrated.

I suppose the annoyance is driven by the dearth of information about the failure. Nowadays I am accustomed to understanding what the problem is and how, possibly, I can fix it.

Is it unreasonable to expect a next day fix? Probably.

Two day? Potentially difficult.

But 7 flipping days?


Anyway, I love the shower.

But I have zero tolerance for stuff not working. And I have limited amounts of patience for the fix.

When the engineer arrives, I’m hoping he (or she) will identify a decent problem. It’s seriously annoying there isn’t some visible readout showing an error message like “please could you put in a new battery”.

I seriously — SERIOUSLY — hope that we don’t get lumbered with one of those “Oh, I’ll need to order the part,” situations.

I’ll keep you updated.

[Update: Thanks to the Aqualisa team on Twitter who were exceptionally responsive. I think next time I’ll go to them first. The Aqualisa engineer actually arrived the day after this post and was done in about 5 minutes. Apparently he just tweaked something and boom, it’s been working perfectly for weeks now.]


Spider Catcher: You definitely need one of these!

If you live in the countryside — or anywhere that’s not hermetically sealed (like an ultra-new block of flats), the chances are you get visited by spiders, large and small.

When we used to live in Marlow, our cottage was beset with spiders — especially when it had been raining. They used to come in for the shelter.

I am not scared of spiders, per se.

It’s the fright that gets me.

You know when you’re sitting down, relaxing, watching television or having a conversation or doing something relatively sedate and then — boom — out walks a massive 50p-coin-sized critter? It’s not doing anyone any harm. It’s just a shock.

And then I’m compelled to do something about it, especially if it’s huge and it keeps on running toward me.

My preference is to remove it from my presence humanely. I’d rather avoid killing them.

One day my wife was — as the Americans call it — freaking out about a huge spider and there was no sensible, easy way to catch it. I was ordered to kill it. That was a bit of a challenging affair given my shoe didn’t quite ‘fit’ the uneven weird corners of the bathroom in our old place.

So I resolved to sort this out. I decided I needed a better way of handling the issue. So I went online to Amazon and searched for: Spider Catcher.

Here’s what popped up:

It’s a plastic wand-type thing that has extendable bristles on the end. Stick them over the spider and let them retract to pick up the spider. Then dump it outside or out the window as necessary.

That’s the concept.

In practice it works perfectly. Absolutely perfectly.

There’re £9.13 each. I bought two!

Money well spent in my opinion.

You do have to be reasonably quick if you’re trying to catch a running spider — and it’s not that effective on tiny ones. But I’ve never, ever had a missed result (sometimes after a few attempts on my part).

Even if you normally just stamp on them — the Spider Catcher removes the issue of having to go and find some kitchen towel to wipe/pick up the remains.

Thoroughly recommended.


Put one of these wall mounted Diner phones in the kitchen!

Now then I have to say, I love the retro possibilities with this device. It’s an old wall mounted phone that you’d expect to see in any American Diner worth it’s salt. And they do like their salt in America.

This unit is a very reasonable £59.99 from The Contemporary Home.

Here’s the description:

This American 3-slot style payphone was first introduced in the 1950s and remained virtually unchanged until 1965. Features pushbutton technology with authentic rotary look, wall or desk mountable with heavy-duty ABS cabinet and chrome accents, full-featured coin bank with lock and key and ringer control.

Just to be clear, this is a fully working telephone supplied with a BT adaptor ready to plug in.

Love it.

For all the times I use a telephone at home these days, I reckon this would be brilliant for the kitchen!

Home Observations

Your pad definitely needs a bespoke Rousseau DJ Booth

I know quite a lot of readers are into music — and large subset are serious enough that they’ve got a few turntables, some excellent speakers and a host of super-DJ-class equipment to make the experience (for them) and their audiences phenomenal.

There is, however, nothing worse than going round to someone’s pad and finding their DJ ‘stuff’ (the decks, the speakers) jumbled all over the place, with wires strung everywhere and a 15-minute wait before anything will actually work. Your MacBook plugged into a 10-year old PC speaker does not count as a sound control system.

If you’re into music — especially DJing — you need a proper system. The Rousseau DJ Booth is probably what you’re after. It’s bespoke, too. There’s a standard design that you can augment to your heart’s content. By default, it’s configured as a sleek, stylish gun-metal booth. It’ll be ready to take some Pioneer CDJ 2000 decks along with an MJ 800 mixer. You’ll probably want at least one MacBook to help out so, by default, the booth is fitted with a laptop stand. Support for some rather funky looking Genelec speakers (pictured) is also included, but of course, you can specify your precise requirements. One key point is that the whole desk runs from one plug-point. I like that. No need to mess around with multiple cables.

This Rousseau DJ Desk will look rather fantastic in any location, but if you’ve got a bit of space in your basement or — as per the picture above — you’ve got a nice open-plan living area, that’ll be ideal! It might also be appropriate for some funky office entertainment space as well.

Now. Let’s get to the costs: The basic bespoke configuration retails at £6,450 — however this excludes any equipment that you’d like built-in (e.g. the Pioneer CDJ). So depending on what you’re looking for, you’ll need to factor that into the total cost. And make sure it’s a decent MacBook Pro as well. The last thing you need is to get one of these super DJ Booths and then stick an old MacBook from 2007 on it.

Right then — there’s a lot more information on this post at the Rousseau site. Here’s some more imagery: