Quite a lot of the time, I am still quite lively. I manage to continue to walk at least five miles a day, more in better weather, and these days I am outpacing Ollie.
But there are many days when I am reminded that I am on the cusp of becoming a bona-fide old codger, and a member of the old codger’s club. Try to read anything without wearing my glasses, even fairly large print, and that will be one reminder. Spend an hour or so doing something mildly strenuous, like hacking down invasive brambles, and I am reminded once again when I feel as stiff as a board by bedtime.
This morning, I got a more serious reminder.
With Christmas approaching, Julie has taken a week off. We are having the carpets cleaned on Thursday, so she was determined to give the house a thorough clean before the carpet men come tomorrow afternoon. Keen to do my part, I decided to clean the bathroom. It gets a cursory clean most days, but was in need of one of those ‘extra cleans’, when I resolve to tackle the limescale caused by the hard water.
Despite having a water softener installed a few years ago, that is only able to cope with around 60% of the limescale in the water. This area is known to have this problem, causing us to have to regularly replace kettles and taps.
Our bathroom is small, and rather old fashioned. We still have the cream corner bath unit installed by the previous owner, together with a cream coloured sink and toilet, and cream and claret tiles that all scream “1989!”
Until we can get around to saving up to replace everything in the currently favoured pure white, at the same time converting to a shower-only ‘wet room’ style, we are happy to tolerate it. There is a separate power shower above the bath which we replaced, and it works very well. But I prefer a bath to a shower.
One of the drawbacks of the wide corner bath is that I am not able to reach the tiles on the far wall without actually getting into the bath to do so. And because the build up of limescale is mainly felt to the touch, rather than visible, it involves me creeping about feeling the ceramic bath and tiles like a complete weirdo!
None of the cleaning products that claim to to vanish away limescale have ever worked in this house. Long ago, I discovered the best thing was to use a conventional spray cleaner, and one of the ‘kinder’ type of scouring pads designed for non-stick pans. The flat green ones, sold in multipacks in any supermarket. They work just fine, and do not damage the fittings, or the tiles. So I set to it today, and after almost two hours, I was happy with my thorough job in that small room.
Then I noticed a bit I had missed, right at the far corner, where the bath meets the tiled wall. I shook my head wondering why life always delivers a bit you have missed, whatever job you are doing I stepped back into the bath, turned to start scrubbing, and bang!
My bare feet slipped away from me on the now smooth and shiny bottom of the bath. My elbow connected hard with the rim of the bath, both legs flew into the air, and the third toe on my right foot disappeared inside the hot tap. Then I got the ‘rebound injury’, as the back of my head rocked back against the thick side of the bath with an audible ‘clump’. It was noisy enough to bring Julie running into the room, worrying what had happened.
I had to be helped out of the small bath like a resident of an old people’s home.
My toe was very painful, and bleeding from a cut across the nail bed. The elbow was painful to touch, and my head felt ‘strange’. When I had my wits about me, Julie washed the small injury on my toe with salty water, and I sat quietly for a moment before going back into the bathroom to actually have a bath and shave before taking Ollie for his walk.
Feel free to laugh. I suppose it was quite funny if you had seen it happen.