Our shower has been out of action for three months. This is following its third re-build and consequential make-overs on the kitchen below after it fell through the floor and relocated itself in the sink. Twice. Clearly there’s something wrong that a new set of tiles and a slick of grout can’t fix. It’s an internal job, and will require a plumber, a new floor and some days of washing the children in a bucket. Maybe even a portaloo.
The situation has had unpredictable effects on the flow of our family life. My husband has taken to bathing every morning, in a leisurely way no parent should be able to achieve before 8.30am. It removes him completely from the pre-school frenzy, and adds an additional 15 minutes to my time-critical schedule that frankly I don’t have. The smell of relaxing muscle soak bath oil is fast becoming the smell of marriage guidance.
On the plus side, I have joined the local gym and regularly pop in for a power-shower after the school drop-off. For a small monthly fee, my new shower room is cleaned for me, fresh towels are offered daily, I can make unlimited use of the tea and coffee facilities and my social status has been raised to ‘healthy’ without the loss of a single pound or minute on the treadmill.
But despite this, the problem remains. Why haven’t I just arranged for the shower to be fixed? The cost is a pain, and I could think of several hundred things more worthy of my (husband’s) hard-earned money. And the work will be hard to live around, and the mess will need cleaning up. First-world problems.
So if I’m honest, it comes down to putting in that initial phone call to the plumber. Putting the wheels in motion. Having to construct an explanatory opening sentence, that will then lead to a conversation, and then a plan to come into my home and start the job. When life is in motion around you and at various stages of activity and completion, adding another task to the wheel is easy. When you’re static, starting anything is a monumental upheaval. I’m paralysed with inactivity. In fact, I haven’t called anyone in weeks. I’m going to start with the plumber.