We’ve all been there. That moment in the relationship when one of you says, ‘Look, I’ve been thinking and…’
We’d been thinking about breaking the bad news to the bathroom for about ten years. But we’ve been through so much together. There was so much we’d shared…
This was where we’d bathed our children. This was where I’d wrapped them in a bath towel and towed them to their bedrooms. And this was where Daddy’s little princess had gazed up at me with those beautiful brown eyes and said, “Daddy, I’ve done a poo in the bath.” And I’d realised that was what it meant to be a Dad: sticking your hand in and finding the damn thing…
But it was time to say goodbye. Time to look for a sexy new model…
Jane and I poured over catalogues. We visited showrooms. There were endless discussions. And at the end of it all I discovered I’d always agreed with my wife’s decisions.
With one exception.
“We don’t need a bath.”
“Of course we need a bath. Every bathroom has a bath.” My wife was wearing her patient face.
“So when was the last time you wallowed in the bath surrounded by rose petals and scented candles?”
“Maybe I would if there wasn’t a danger of the ceiling falling on me.”
I argued long and hard. I produced my expert witnesses – Tom, Jessica, Ben – to show that we simply didn’t need a bath any more. And guess what? At the end of it all I discovered I’d always agreed with my wife’s decision.
…And now here were the plumbers.
We’d delayed them until Ben had finished his exams. So they turned up on the second day of his half-term holiday.
Culture shock was on understatement. Arrive at office, switch computer on, text arrives from son…
The workmen have woken me up. They’re playing the radio and swearing about the new ‘Top Gear.’
I texted back and explained that the trusty British tradesman always has the radio on. Is there a plumber, painter or plasterer that can work in silence? You’ll just have to live with it, I texted back. It’s a life skill you need to acquire.
But there was far worse to follow. “Should get the pipes finished tomorrow,” Chris said. “But you won’t have any hot water for tonight.” Thank goodness we were having the work done in Flaming June. The Flaming June when it was so cold the rest of the country was reaching for the thermostat…
“Just pretend you’re camping,” I said to Ben. “You’re just camping at home.”
“Dad, if I go camping the Duke of Edinburgh gives me a medal for it. And it’s warmer on the Moors than it is in our house.”
Pah! The real man tossed his t-shirt to one side and marched downstairs to get shaved in the kitchen sink. Maybe I should have done it before the hot water was turned off. I’m sure there’s a woman somewhere that finds the ‘homeless wino’ look attractive. It certainly isn’t my wife.
Obviously I took to Twitter to bemoan my plight and our descent into the dark ages. It was just what my followers had been waiting for. My timeline rapidly turned into Monty Python’s ‘Four Yorkshiremen,’ played out in 140 characters.
I grew up in a house where Dad always shaved in the kitchen. There was no hot water unless we boiled the kettle.
We had a black and white TV until I was 11. Dad didn’t believe in colour
Dad made us use the outside toilet, even in winter.
Would my children be treading the same path in thirty years’ time? We didn’t even have a bath. And it was all Dad’s fault…