Dismounting from an English bathtub should be an Olympic sport.

I know I’ve said it before, but honestly, it’s difficult to wrap your head around who thought those were a good idea.

We’re staying in a lovely little AirBnB in Surrey. It’s a “maisonette” according to the advert, but not exactly because it’s only on one floor – a maisonette is generally a two story with direct access to the outside. But I’m getting off topic.

English bathtubs. They tend to be large affairs (water not usually being an issue here) raised to alarming heights off the floor.

This is one TALL bathtub. And they’re all like that… Also note acrylic flappy thing.

Climbing out, therefore, is a sport in which you engage naked, slippery as a greased pig, and, as in my case, mostly blind due to your specs reposing on the one tiny shelf available for the purpose.

I know, it’s an amazing mental picture but you’ll have to control yourself. Do not run screaming from the room. This is rude.

The Brits seem to have an odd aversion to the American tendency to put grab bars in. Useful things, those. The hotels I’ve stayed at seem to discount the obvious liability aspect of not installing them. The Waldorf, for example, has a towel rack that could be used for the dismount except that it has the ominous warning of “caution! Hot!”

Do you know, I’d rather have a cold towel than a burned paw.

There literally isn’t anything to hold onto other than the edge of the tubby or the equally slick acrylic “shower guard”.

I’ve never seen anything so ridiculous.

They have this acrylic flappy thing that only stretches over half the length of the bath that is supposed to prevent water from landing on the floor. I’d rather not get into an argument over who’s superior, US or UK, but on this one, like on aircraft, I’m sorry, the Yanks have it dead to rights.

The Brits have chocolate, theatre, better human rights (sorry, it’s true, at least in the recent past; the National Health Service offers free pregnancy termination without judgment, and gay marriage was voted in years before the former SCOTUS grudgingly allowed marital rights) than the Americans, but the US has Boeing and shower curtains.

Yeah, I know, Airbus is a multi-country conglomerate but they make crap airplanes, IMO. Those bathrooms are appallingly small. (It’s not Boeing’s fault their customers are demanding to wedge more and more people into less and less space, but somehow I blame Airbus for the size of their seats & lavs. Whatever.)

Back to the tub. Sorry, I do tend to wander.

So there’s nothing to hold onto as you attempt the splits getting out of the ridiculously high tubby. Should I clutch at the slippery sides? The acrylic flap? Attempt to clutch onto the equally slippery window ledge? Make a strategic fall onto the toilet?

Decisions, decisions.

Also, the English have the smallest sinks known to mankind. They’re super-cute when you first see them (Awww! Does something that tiny actually work??) but then reality sets in.

I… cannot… put my hands all the way under the tap.

This is one pinky sink.

Likewise, brushing your teeth is an exercise in precision spitting. Never having been much of a spitter, I’ve been doing some wiping up.

Other parts of the flat are amazing. The fact we don’t need a Sherpa to scale the staircase, for one. I think the only place I’ve seen a staircase that steep was in Denmark in a really old building.

The treads are thinner than the height of the steps. You gotta waddle down, clutching the stair rail. I wonder how many people have taken a header down that precipice. Thank goodness it has a gate at the top. Otherwise, we might find ourselves taking that header in the middle of the night.

It is almost a sheer drop. When we leave, I figure we’ll open the front door and just scream “Geronimo!” as we toss the cases down. They’ll crash into the rubbish bins, but who cares?

The sitting room is quite good; I’d paint it a lighter color to make it look a bit bigger, but otherwise, for the two of us it’s more than adequate. Even has room to stretch out the laundry rack.

The sofa tends to make it difficult to extricate yourself. It’s very smooshy. There’s a tiny table with two chairs to the side of the armchair.

The bedroom isn’t large, but it’s quite adequate.

The window allows for a really nice breeze – it’s been quite warm.

The kitchen is… compact, but it works. The fox who climbs up the roof and appears to want to come in is a little unnerving, but hey, we just close the window. We’re right in town, but foxes live in urban areas all over here.

The fridge is behind the left cabinet door. There’s very little storage, but there’s a microwave.

We’ve had a turn of events with our plans, so we’re spending more time than anticipated here; my aunt met us at the airport and took my mother home while we went to get the car. We went to her house to drop off my mother’s luggage and no-one wore masks.

The next day (our first full day) my aunt wasn’t feeling great and yup. Tested positive. My mom had been around her all afternoon/evening/morning, so we’re figuring she’s likely to get it. We’re the wild cards. In the interim, things have been rearranged.

…Which is not such a bad thing. We’re getting a lot more down time. I was concerned this holiday might be non-stop running hither and yon, but this has slowed us way down. I have no access to anything work related, so I’m relaxed. Eating too much, but whatever. It’s good to be back.

2 thoughts on “Dismounting from an English bathtub should be an Olympic sport.

  1. Victoria, I completely understand your predicament. I’ll now not complain about the tub at my son’s house, since it has a handle in the tub and a sink right next to it.
    Enjoy your time, hopefully you won’t get sick, or it will be mild

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the size of the tub is because Brits took baths. Showers were an after market addition. Americans have “shower” as their default option.


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