Just to let you know how tortured things are, the heater problem was in fact a water problem after all. With the flow of hot water being partially blocked somewhere, the heater didn't have any water at one point, and had to shut itself down. Otherwise there'd be some kind of meltdown, and that would not be good.
There seems to be enough flow now to keep everything going, and I can take a shower if I'm patient. Even had a bath on Sunday, though it took ages to get a worthwhile amount of water in the tub. The water cools down considerably while waiting so long, even with an insulating layer of rose-scented bubble bath, and I had to top it off with a large cauldron of boiling water from the kitchen. Must remember to up the maximum water temperature...
But I had my bath!
And it was good.
Saturday morning we went looking at mirrors and bits of shelving or cabinetry. I found a mirror I really liked. They had little cabinets just the right size to go with it - not too deep because the space is quite narrow - and I really would prefer to store the usual cleaning products and miscellaneous bottles & tubes behind a cupboard door, but I really don't like the doors they had. So we didn't get anything.
There was some thought of trekking to Ikea, to see what they have there. But it was well after 11 already, so lunch + bridge playing + looking up the catalog online & only driving the hour to St Etienne on the toll road if they actually have something I want to buy seemed like the better plan. (Yeah, like Ikea will not have anything I want to buy!)
Sometime during the week, the plumber should come by and then everything will be perfect in that particular part of the house.
Then we can get on to the kitchen...
is it water or ice?
1 hour ago