What I’ve learned after 4 days without hot water

Our boiler stopped working this week, with no immediate prospect of being fixed, thanks to severe weather bringing the country to a standstill. For the first 24 hours a Dunkirk spirit kicked in, now it is becoming less fun, and here’s why:

  1. I now know why my son howls when I dump a jugful of water over his head to wash his hair. Having inflicted this on myself today when shivering in a shallow, lukewarm both, I can say it’s rather unpleasant. I’m not convinced it will engender any sympathy during his future bath times though. Bad mummy.
  2. I’ve discovered that I get quite grumpy when I can’t have a nice warm shower and wash my hair. I’ve conditioned myself to feel entitled to it. I suddenly have a new respect for people, who for whatever reason aren’t able to access hot-water showers.
  3. I’ve convinced myself that in order to summon the energy to carry four boiling hot pans and three kettles up and down the stairs to fill the bath I need to eat some of my son’s freshly iced Easter biscuits to fuel the trips. Desperate time, plus we burn more calories when cold, don’t we?
  4. You think if you fill a bath with several large pans of boiling-hot water that it will take a fair bit of cold to cool down enough to get into. It won’t. The application of cold water will render futile all your up and down stairs trips with boiling-hot water.
  5. The term ‘fill the bath’ is used loosely here, as after countless kitchen pans have been filled with hot water their contents have barely covered the bottom.
  6. No-one in this house takes baths and so when the bath gets cleaned I clean the bits I can see from when I’m in the shower. I was hitherto unaware of this, and when you’re sitting in a tepid puddle in the bath being faced with the underside of bath taps that have been a stranger to cleaning products is a bit, well, yucky.
  7. I will, in future, be more grateful for my shower and I will not hedonistically adapt to its reappearance. Promise!

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