Well now, this is a blog post that started off going one direction and changed course when I thought I was just about finished writing it!
Sunday morning in November. A clear, crisp morning, strangely quiet, the stillness only broken by a disgruntled neighbour furiously scraping half an inch of frost off his car windscreen before he can go anywhere. Why is it so quiet? I stick a tentative arm out from under the duvet and find out.
Yes, as I suspected last night, the heating isn’t working. I’ve woken up to a stone cold flat and investigating the problem means getting out of my lovely warm bed and trekking to the kitchen with a team of huskies and a sled. Well, okay, not quite, but it’s not what you want on a Sunday morning. Needs must though, and so I struggle out of bed, step into a pair of fluffy slippers, pull on a fleecy dressing gown over my pyjamas and go to check the boiler. Sure enough, just like yesterday the pressure’s dropped and there’s no heat being generated. Luckily I know how to pump it up again, so I open the little taps and the needle on the pressure gauge slowly moves back to roughly where it should be. I can’t keep doing this though, there’s obviously an underlying problem that needs to be fixed. Not an emergency, I suppose, so I won’t call the landlord on a Sunday morning, I’ll just text him.
I make coffee while everything grumbles back into life and the temperature starts to creep up. The landlord texts back. He’ll get a plumber in, probably won’t be today though if it’s not an emergency. Great, now I’m going to have to work from home some time during the week to let the plumber in. I sip my coffee and try to ignore the fact that I can see my breath. What am I going to do until the place heats up? I could go back to bed, but I’m up now. A nice warm bath is what I really want, but of course there’s no hot water, and no amount of warm clothing is going to make a cold bath seem like a tempting proposition on a morning like this.
A shower, on the other hand… The shower is electric and completely separate from the central heating and hot water system, and therefore the only thing providing hot water on this particular Sunday morning apart from the kettle. I won’t get to luxuriate in the shower the same way I do in the bath, but at least I’ll be warm. I gulp down the rest of my coffee and head for the bathroom. It’s far too cold to undress, of course, but as the shower warms up I begin to worry about how cold it’s going to be when I have to get out again. With that in mind, I take off my dressing gown and hang it on the towel rack. It’s for the greater good. The slippers can stay on, though, who wants cold feet?
The water’s warm now and my heart’s racing, so I step in, still wearing my pyjamas and slippers. Red slippers with a white fake fur lining, they soak up loads of water and turn a dark red as they warm my cold feet. Squishy. I step forward into the spray, allowing the water to soak through my pyjama bottoms. They’re light pink with grey stars, lightweight cotton, so they put up little more than a token resistance to the onslaught of water and within seconds are clinging to my legs, translucent and wrinkled against my skin. Another step forward and my top is in the path of the water. Like the bottoms, it’s instantly drenched, the light grey colour darkening where the water hits it. I twist around, making sure the water hits my shoulders so that my entire front is drenched. Only now do I realise something is different to my normal clothed showers – I’m in my pyjamas, so I have no underwear on. Without the support of a bra the dark grey cotton moulds itself to the exact shape of my chest, showing just how cold I really am!
Taken aback by this unusual experience, I’m moved to do something else I don’t usually do. Most of the time when I’m getting wet, there’s only water involved and no other substances. I’m not really into the whole messy thing which seems to be inextricably linked with wetlook for reasons I don’t completely understand. My lack of underwear means today’s not an ordinary day, however, and I have the urge to get a handful of shower gel and start lathering myself up. I rub the thick lemon scented liquid across my chest, down my belly and onto my legs. It’s… stimulating, if you get my meaning, and before I know where I am I’m shaking with pleasure. Barely able to stand, I steady myself against the shower wall and get my breath back. Wow. That’s certainly warmed me up. I step back under the shower for a proper rinse, making sure to get all the suds out of my pyjamas, taking off each of my slippers in turn to rinse them thoroughly under the spray before putting them back on my feet.
I’m warm enough now, I decide, so I turn off the shower and step out, leaving huge wet footprints on the bathmat as my feet squeeze water out of my sodden slippers. Before the cold can get to me I quickly slip back in to my dressing gown and tie it tightly around my waist. This stops the warm water trapped in my drenched PJs from cooling down too fast, like a lovely warm wet embrace. Still buzzing from what I’ve just done, I head for the bedroom, fire up the laptop and log in here to start typing up my experiences. Yes, I’ve just typed all this while sitting at my desk still in my soaking wet pyjamas and slippers. How naughty! And how exciting to share my naughtiness with all my readers in this way! And how terrifying when suddenly the doorbell rings.
What the hell? Who’s at the door at this time on a Sunday morning? And what do I do? I can’t open it soaking wet… can I?
The bell rings again. Whoever’s there seems pretty insistent. I stand up and look at myself in the mirror. My dressing gown is thick enough to hide any trace of wetness, but below it my pyjama trousers are quite obviously clingy and see-through and my slippers are leaking water everywhere. The bell rings a third time, accompanied by a loud knocking. I’m going to have to answer it. I’m cross, thrilled and suddenly nervous all at the same time. I decide to take my slippers off to avoid making too many puddles, but I’m just going to have to hope whoever’s there doesn’t notice my wet legs.
Apprehensively, I open the door. It’s the landlord.
“Hello,” he says, “hope I’m not interrupting anything…?”
What does he know? What has he seen? Has he noticed? He can’t have, I’ve only just open the door. Calm down. “I, er, I was just in the shower,” I stammer.
“Ah, sorry,” he apologises, “I won’t come in then. I did text you but you probably didn’t see it if you were in the shower. I brought you this.”
I look down to see he’s holding a cardboard box, about two feet high. Inside it is a floor standing heater. “Thought this might help you out until I can get a plumber out,” he offers.
Gratefully, I take it from him and stand behind it. It hides my wet legs perfectly. “Oh, thanks very much!” I tell him.
“Not a problem,” he replies, backing away. “I’ll let you know if I hear from a plumber. Enjoy the rest of your day!”
I thank him again and shut the door. How thoughtful! He’s not bad, as landlords go. I take the heater into the bedroom, wondering how much of a reduction in rent he would have given me if I hadn’t been wearing my dressing gown… 😉