Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Pink and brass - uglier than my arse

Our bathroom is an abomination. Like Dr Who's tardis, it may be small in size, but is ugly in much more humungous proportions on the inside. It is uncomfortable to use, difficult to clean and, lastly but worstly, it is in direct line with the front door.

In 1924 when our house was built, the bathroom was at the back of the house. The original kitchen must presumably have been half the size it is now and the toilet and laundry were probably tacked on to the back under the verandah.

In the late 1980s, the then-owners did a renovation of sorts. They extended the kitchen and added on a family room. The toilet was tucked into a corner of the laundry, not-so-cleverly hidden behind a wooden slatted door that a drunk or athletic adult could limbo dance under. So far, we three - Love Chunks, Sapphire and myself - have coped admirably with these design faults and are likely going to have to for much longer still. But the bathroom is another matter entirely.

My arms do not have to fully stretch out in order to touch both walls which measure only 1.5m. The length of the room is a mere 2.1m. To be fair to the previous owners, they did not have much real estate to work with when jazzing it up. Wisely perhaps, they abandoned the idea of squeezing a toilet into the space because it may not have worked all that well if the pooping person had to duck under the towel rails and shower caddy in order to get that scatological load off their mind.

That's where my goodwill towards the stupid, short-cut-loving, cheapskate owners ends. Even Blind Freddy would be able to see that the combined bath and shower should have been installed on the back wall, under the window, where the original tub was. But no, these corner cutting vandals clearly didn't want to be bothered with properly bricking up the wall to make it waterproof and remove the window. Instead, they placed the bath along the longer (2.1m remember) wall. These guys may possibly have been anorexic string beans and therefore able to enter the room without the boxy glass shower screen thumping them on the shoulder as they washed their hands in the basin.

It is also evident that they didn't mind standing on a slant whilst they showered because the showerhead is fitted right at the sloping end of the bath where presumably a bubble-loving munchkin would lean against whilst reading 'Who Weekly'. For us, unfortunately, it's bloody annoying. Love Chunks and I either end up facing the slope and leaning forward like an alpine ski jumper, or facing the other way, praying our feet don't slide out from underneath us and causeour noses to headbutt the bath taps. Most un-fun, especially when showering early in the morning before my face has fully unfolded or my brain even begun to comprehend the word 'coffee'.

Going back to Blind Freddy, maybe he was one of the homeowners because how else can you explain the pale pink colour scheme combined with beige-painted tapware and brass tap fittings? It's not a women's colour - most of my girlfriends would prefer to eat their young than select a colour that makes their room uncannily resemble a large vaginal canal. Actually, I think most of my friends would prefer to eat their young most of the time, full stop.

This pale pink extends to the painted shut window - well, it has to be, otherwise we'd be bashing the frames against the giprocked wall of the living room - and to the floor. *Sigh*, when will people choose a floor that is the same colour as the things that land on it? Stuff like pubes, eyelash hairs, dog fur, dental floss, towel lint and belly button fluff. Floorboards do a good job or pretty well any colour except pink or white for intelligence's sake. No sooner has the mop left the room than a stray piece of lint lands on it, shouting out its presence like bolognese on a clean bathrobe.

But wait, there's more, and none of it is going to make you long to be an overnight guest at our house (unless you want to have a splash in the laundry trough, but that's got its trials too as the only toilet is in the same room). The boxy glass shower screen only covers half of the bath, so we need to have a shower curtain as well. These have a tendency to get wet and immediately stick to the body which is not yet warm or wet - not a great way to wake up. They also grow mould quicker than an agar plate which looks and smells particularly fetching. Thirdly, they often refuse to stick to the edge of the glass in order to make an enclosed space so that not only do you feel a stiff breeze you could do without but the water the curtain was supposed to keep in the bath now flows out onto the dreaded pink floor. Augh!!!

Being in direct line with the front door is always going to be an issue unless the lotto ticket comes through for us and we convert it into an internal wine room. So far we've only had a few near misses in terms of the 'Oh my god I'm bending over to pick up the soap and Love Chunks has opened the front door to make a Red Cross donation!' and we can always work on ensuring that we both stop and think before flinging open the front door to search for the paper amongst the box hedges. What angers me the most is that every single visitor, door-knocker, friend and guest gets a lovely look straight into our most ugly, ill-conceived, stupid little bathroom. Hell, it's even lit up to the nines by the skylight! I always find myself apologising for it as we walk through to the living room, "Oh, don't look in there, it's our bathroom from hell. We haven't done it up yet." And hey, if they want to go to the loo and wash their hands, it's not as though the laundry trough and homemade loo in the same room is all that impressive either.....

Today I found myself at the Reece bathroom products showroom. Looking at kitchen flick-mixer taps. It was impossible to resist walking amongst the gleaming chrome and white vanities, basins, toilets, showers and baths. I was momentarily lost in a fog of fantasy and had to be asked "Can I help you?" three times by the showroom consultant before I could answer sadly and say "Yes, where are your kitchen taps?"

Whilst paying for the tap, I spied a leaflet on the counter. 'Reece Great Australian Bathroom 2006 Competition' it read. Win $12,000 cash and Reece vouchers. Whooohoo, now you're talking, I thought to myself. Well, until I read that it was for people who have already done their bathrooms. What's the point of that? They're already got a decent bathroom, it should be for someone like ourselves, living with a tiny pink box with a storage cupboard 20cm wide! Isn't that too much like letting Paris Hilton grab every designer goodie bag she can stuff in her birkin when she's already a multi millionaire? I'd bet the skinny little skank would even like our pink colour too.

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