The mirror crack’d from side to side


I’ve been out of luck with mirrors recently. First there was the mystery of the mirror in our bedroom, fitted flush to the wall and leaving me baffled. The folks who owned our house previously had seven daughters, a veritable deluge of God’s mercy. It may be relevant to mention at this stage they were Plymouth Brethren. Anyway in a house that boasted two bathrooms and a downstairs WC you can understand why the parents of these seven wonders wanted a shower, sink, mirror and shaving light in their bedroom.

We decommissioned the shower, it always seemed a bit weird and my shirts needed the hanging space. The sink stayed as a small dust trap until we had that removed too, which left the mirror and the shaving light. TBH asked me to replace the mirror with a full length one, and that’s how you find me standing in front of it with screwdrivers and a bolster, in a state of confusion.

I’d taken down the tiles, stripped the silicone, removed the light and still the mirror would not move. My reflection mocked me as I pressed and tugged and shimmied, cursing the over zealous fool that had recessed the fittings.

Inevitably my prying and pulling led to the sharp report of glass. Shards flew everywhere. There were no recessed fittings. The mirror was glued to the wall. Half a dozen generous blobs of what looked like tile adhesive. Who the hell glues up a mirror? For whom is life so certain, so immune from the prospect of change that they permanently fix a mirror over a tiny sink under a shaving light beside a shower built into a bedroom? Seven daughters should teach a man that nothing stays the same. (I later learned that gluing mirrors to the wall is actually a thing and not weird. Who knew? Certainly not me.)

The new mirror is an IKEA job with fittings you can see. It slides out because one day someone won’t want a mirror there. This is called foresight.

There is one other mirror in the house that I now realise to be glued. I think the right way to remove them is with garroting wire. Understandably this is not something you can buy on the high street. When we redo that bathroom I may have to hire an assassin to get it down for me, but let’s not go borrowing trouble just now.

The other mirror disaster was in Bob’s room (pictured above). I recycled another inherited mirror from the previous owners into a specially made frame. Rebated, routed edges, mitred corners, I felt like a true disciple of Norm Abram. The top screw went in just fine, the lower one I overtightened by a bare fraction and CLICK. The mirror crack’d from side to side.

“Shhh…” I stopped myself from saying as both Bob and Bill were there to “help”.

Hours in the workshop wasted. I was devastated, I’d made this thing for Bob and it was ruined.

She’s a good kid, she’s perched her collection of lip balms on the little shelf to hide the worst of the damage. Maybe the mirror can stay as a permanent addition to the room, and I guess my two mouthy gorgeous doses of God’s mercy are just plenty. So God in his mercy lend them grace, as uncle Alfred almost wrote, and they can check it in the mirror.


BTW we have found nothing untoward behind any of the mirrors, unlike here.