house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Inside the Shower, Inside the Rain

The Shower

Key word: outside. The shower is outside. It leans against a rock wall, on the 'bathroom' terrace – next to an old bath tub, a sink, the composting loo. 27 steps from yurt, 55 steps from alambique. The structure is bamboo, walls clad in planks, shower curtain for a door. Ample room inside, drainage to blue barrel and cherry tree next to the loo. The route from shower to alambique takes you down a winding path, part rock-part earth and scree, including three stone steps. The middle stone step moves. When it moves, you either stop stock still and consider your options (airlifting high among them) or you're propelled down the scree slope at considerable speed, bathrobe flapping, toes hurting, face frozen in a grimace of terror.

Shower Habits and Quirks

Showers are best in the evening. No lights, just the stars.
Clothes are left outside, on a rock. If you bring them in the shower, they get wet. If you leave them outside, rain or dew will also get them wet. (Not any more. Nikita built a great roof around the shower and presto: dressing area.)
Given the cherry tree that receives the drained water, no chemical soaps or shampoos can be used, just natural stuff or ash-and-lye – ok this latter hasn't been tested. Yet.
All shower water is orange and smells strongly of iron. I have the vague and alarming impression that a layer of rust is peeled off the inside of the water tank every time we have a shower. That the tank is slowly disintegrating. In the meantime, whatever the soap, we come out of the shower smelling of iron. It's the new 'clean'.
If you wear flip flops in the shower, there's less chance of stepping on any sharp rocks, mud or soap inside the shower, in the dark.
If you wear flip flops in the shower, they shall be wet and slippery after the shower. Hence more chance of stepping on the moving stone slab the wrong way and being propelled down the scree slope, flip-flops squeaking, toes aching, bathrobe flapping, face frozen in rictus of terror.

Shower in August

Balmy night. You step in the shower while the water's still cold. Aaaaahhh. You've been longing for this shock all day. Then the water is tepid and you'd like to keep it like this. A perfect moment, you sigh, you lift your head to the stars, they sparkle and wink. Then the water is hot and you yelp and leap out. One hand fiddles with the taps, the other finds, and drops, the soap.
When you leave the shower, the skin tingles, you are fresh and phenomenally happy. The stars sparkle even brighter, they preen and wink just as you step onto the moving stone slab. You are enchanted and euphoric, so you judge the angle wrong, the slab wobbles and propels you down the scree slope. Bathrobe flapping, flip-flops squeaking, toes screaming, but eyes still glued to the firmament, you reach the alambique. Eeeeh, the life.

Shower in November

Stormy night. The wind whistles, the rain lashes, November does its job. Eventually, you really need a shower. You stay as far from the shower head as possible until the water reaches boiling temperature. When it does, you undress at lightning speed and step in. Aaaahhh, that's not too bad. It immediately becomes a contest between the narrow column of hot water and the cold wind outside. The wind employs a devious strategy: it grabs the shower curtain and plasters it – wet, cold, lizard-like – to your shivering body. You step on its tail to stop it from wrapping you in that icy embrace. Your foot, leg, hip, ribcage, in that order, promptly freeze. You yank the curtain open and the whole of you (minus a nozzle-size area directly underneath the shower head) is chilled and consumed by the storm. You grab your bathrobe and it falls onto the wet floor. Finally on, it feels a bit like the shower curtain. You make a dash for the alambique. You knees shake with cold so much that you know – even before you reach the wobbly stone – you're going to misjudge the step and be propelled down the scree slope. Bathrobe flapping, flip-flops squeaking, toes-burning, aw-aw-aaaw, all the way home.

There you steam and thaw bit by bit as you sip hot tea and tell everyone about your latest adventure inside the shower, inside the rain.


At 17 November 2011 at 18:03 , Anonymous Fiona Morris said...

Love your story about your beautiful romantic rustic outdoor shower! Transports me there once more... But quite an adventure on those stormy nights, eh?!
Take care those slippery slopes,
Love Fi xox

At 18 November 2011 at 16:53 , Blogger emwolfem said...

Thanks Fi,
it's actually great fun and way easier than I would have predicted. PLUS, when we actually move to the main house, just picture the luxury of an indoors shower. OR A BATH!!! Oh oh ooooooh....


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