Ordeal by Water
I seem to have trouble with water. Well, bathrooms, kitchen taps; definitely showers and anything remotely wet.
It seems to happen mostly in France. We all know about the French; lovely people, but definitely not too bothered about sanitation. At the drop of a zip they’ll be off watering the verges and not being shy about it.
Camping sites are notorious for trouble with water. It runs everywhere, erratically. The quickest way to get it is to give up and go away. Look back – and see it showering an empty cubicle. Within moments of entering a shower you can be sure your clothes will be wet – the spray goes everywhere and your shoes will be full to the brim.
Campsites in France.
It was in France that a trip that had started so well went awry! After a fair night’s sleep, I sashayed across to the campsite shower block attired in a seventies shell suit. It covers everything and nobody knows or cares, that it’s your pajamas.
I found an empty cubicle, tied my clothes into a ball, hung them safely over the outside of the door and got au naturel. I looked at the money machine and read the notice. Mettez le jeton doucement! So I put the metal disc gently into the slot – and nothing happened. I tried again, gently but firmly, with no result. For my third attempt I rammed it in hard and banged heavily on the machine, convulsing all the cubicles near to mine. I got nowhere.
I decided to try the other side of the shed: I had heard people showering over there. I could leave my clothes, I decided, and dash across with my rather tiny towel, since there was nobody about.
I set off. When I was mid way, and fully exposed, the campsite manager arrived.
‘Do you ‘ave a prob-lem Madame?’
I stayed where I was, clutching my hand towel: should I arrange it ‘up’ or ‘down’?
Unknown to me some busybody had alerted the management, but Monsieur le proprieteur was not at all phased. I’ll give him his due he was a gentleman; he kept his eyes strictly on mine as we discussed the situation.
He asked for the jeton, and I leaned carefully towards him. He went back to my shower, placed the coin gently in the slot – and the water gushed out! I nodded imperiously, to hide my embarrassment, made no further comment, and made my way back.
Nobody, but nobody, had been able to get water out of that shower except him, and now it had built up. I found it wouldn’t stop, and I was in danger of drowning as well as flooding the place. I collected my clothes, forced my wet body into the shell suit and left the building to its fate.
Old London town.
Even in London I am not immune. I once got an urgent call for assistance when I was rinsing shirts at a sink. Our flat was above the shops in the High Street, above the bakery and sandwiched between the wet fish shop and the funeral director.
So I set off like Wonder woman but inadvertently left the taps full on. Whilst I was sorting somebody else out, a shirt got sucked into the sink outlet at home, then another, and then one more. The sink became blocked and the water overflowed to the floor.
On my return I was faced with paddling around trying to clear up the mess. Many buckets were emptied before I was done: (home and dry.) I decided on fried chicken for supper, always a treat, and oddly it came from the fish shop beneath us.
‘Can’t be done, luv,’ I was told with regret. ‘No electrics – the lot’s gorn, even the stiffs in the Chapel of Rest are getting warm, so they tell me!’
I blanched! Was I to blame? Definitely! Should I confess? Not unless I had to. So I didn’t.
Why is it, I ask myself, that where water is concerned, I am always in the hot stuff? Maybe it’s because I was born in the wet month of February. A Pisces rule decrees: ‘You will always be happiest surrounded by water!’
I live on the Isle of Wight now.
I am happy… but I do check up each morning… In case it has floated away.
LaLa Land by Malabar Cash is an ebook for Kindle: available on Amazon. Enjoy!