Friday, 2 March 2018
How to bath in Bath
Simple - you might say - run the hot water, add some frippary like Molton & Brown gensing with frankincense suds and get in.
Ah not so fast! Not in these snow-drenched days living under enforced house arrest...
Around lunchtime today, just as I was thinking I’d better have a bath and wash my hair - in case the hot water and heating went off - it did just that. The heating and hot water went off. A small boom in the boiler, just above the sofa and desk where I do my writing, sounded as if all was not well. I fumbled with leads and memory sticks, switched off my printer, unplugged my lap top and sat in bed. The boiler didn’t sound well and it might mean we’d be getting cold.
Richard to the rescue.
Yes, we’ve been here before.
Richard came rushing upstairs with a kettle of boiling water complaining that the windows wouldn’t open. What was he talking about? Within moments the windows did open, my study was like a block of ice and Richard was tipping scalding water on the condenser pipes shouting, ‘The hot water’s off!’ I suggested we switched on the portable heaters since if the hot water was off the radiators would likely go cold too.
And not to be outdone in this Heath-Robinson approach to life-below-freezing-point I switched on a brand new kettle - our spare - filled the ensuite wash basin with hot water, turned on the cold tap and mixed some reluctant-to-come-out-of-the-tube shampoo into my hair. ( I had partially undressed but it was too cold for a strip-wash).
All was going well. Richard was merrily hanging out of the window, I was helping (?) by rushing up and downstairs with wet hair and the spare kettle to add to the quantities of boiling water being thrown at the condenser pipe. I put my back out moving the portable radiators around. I am recovering from a slipped disc but when it’s cold you need the extra heaters.
Whilst drying - I won’t say styling - my hair Richard shouted ‘Bugger’ and opened all the doors letting in even more frozen air. I found him outside trying to rescue the lid which had flown away from the old kettle. But he had to give up. (He’d leant so far out of the study window it had dropped off on to the kitchen roof below.)
‘Here. Have this stick and pull it off the roof,’ said I.
‘I can’t reach it. The snow on the kitchen roof is so deep the kettle lid’s sunk down and I can’t get at it.’
‘Would a magnet help?’
‘How would that work?’ Richard wasn’t taught any science at Ilminster Grammar School. ‘Anyway have you got a magnet?’
‘I’m not getting a ladder out in this weather and climbing up on the kitchen roof to rescue a kettle lid.’
‘Well use the new kettle,then,’ said I.
‘Where is it?’
‘Plugged in where it’s been plugged in for the last year.’
Once dressed I continued working in bed and heard some gurgling coming from the boiler. ‘This new kettle’s better than the old one.’
‘Yes, it’s new,’ I said, winning first prize in the stating-the-bleeding-obvious-competition.
‘Are the radiators coming on?’
The radiators were coming on, the barn doors were closed, the window, which opened and shut fine, was shut and there was hot water. I plugged my lap top back into the mains ( my old lap top doesn’t charge properly - hence the use of the mains lead - but my Mac does. I use my old lap top for writing Word docs.)
Did I dare risk it and actually have a bath?