The View from the Kitchen Table – February 2021

by Geraldine Hughes

The bath in our house is the least used appliance, I’m not even sure it is an appliance, maybe it’s a piece of furniture? Anyway its seldom used as a bath, unless I mention getting rid of it and then some one always has to have one urgently. A few weeks ago, Mr. View decided he was going to have one to relax and as a nice way to spend an evening. I don’t think he intended going the whole hog with candles and wine and music or maybe he did but either way he filled a nice deep bath and used whatever bath stuff we had that was gathering dust since last year. He was wallowing away there for about 10 mins when the house alarm went off, I knocked that off and realised that the smoke alarm was going off too and not only that, but the one in the hall was steadily dripping water.

Chaos followed with me knocking off lights, gathering towels and simultaneously yelling at him that we had an EMERGENCY! I was also trying to beat the smoke alarm to death with a sweeping brush because my ears were bleeding. Climbing up a metal ladder while soaking wet, still covered in suds and his back red raw from the hot water (but thankfully wearing underwear!) was probably not the most sensible thing to do, especially when he was trying to disconnect wires, but least he stopped the noise and lived to tell the tale. If you were in the vicinity at the time and were treated to the spectacle of a half red sudsy man, in his pants on a ladder, and two demented women running about with torches and towels, I hope that explains things for you.

But where had the water come from? Poor Mr. The View spent his evening, not unwinding and being zen but dismantling a bath panel and getting to the bottom of it. It wasn’t difficult. The pipe leading to the overflow was not only cracked, but not even connected, just waving away into space. When the bath was filled to what I consider luxury proportions (I’m a childhood victim of lukewarm hip baths about 2” deep!) when the Mr. submerged himself, the overflow did what it was meant to do, took the overflow water but with no pipe connected, it poured all over the place and found the fastest outlet which was the smoke alarm. Mystery solved – it’s been like that for 20 years – that’s how little the bath is used.

An added bonus was finding at the other end of the bath, the lads building the house didn’t bother to finish the wall, so we were looking straight down into the ceiling below, explaining why the bathroom is so darn cold that we christened it Vladivostok. The hero of the day is the smoke alarm, dried out and re-assembled with a new battery as a treat, it sure did its job even if the builders didn’t finish theirs.

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