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It’s Sunday, we return home after a climbing session in need of a shower, but our boiler has gone kaput and is not providing any hot water.

We decide upon a bath, filled with hot water provided by our kettle. We imagine that we will fill the bath, one of us will bathe, then re-fill it with clean water for the other.

I start the process;

Fill kettle

*Click* kettle on


When hot, walk kettle from kitchen to bathroom

Empty into bath


After numerous kettle runs there is barely an inch of water in the bath.

I put our largest pot on the stove and start heating water there too.

Back and forth I go. Boiling and filling, boiling and filling.

30 minutes in, and the bath is now an inch and a half deep.

I empty a kettle of water into the bath. At this moment the filter in the kettle decides to fall out into the bath allowing, lets be frank, years worth of gritty limescale to fall into the water.

Bordering on mental collapse I decide rather than freak out, the limescale is clearly going to be a good exfoliator.

As I re-fill the kettle and put in on Jol, seeing my frustration, offers to take over bath filling duty.

I go and sit in the lounge for a while. I hear the kettle boil. Nothing happens.

I return to the kitchen to discover Jol is helping by making himself a snack.

I reach over his cold meat platter and pickle to get the kettle. “I’m doing it!” he declares through a mouth of ham. I empty the kettle into the bath, return to the kitchen where he takes it off me, and I leave him re-filling it in the sink.

I decide to play “Scoop the Scale” It involves sticking my hand into the bath, trapping as much limescale under it as possible, and drawing it out of the water, catching the scooped limescale in a flannel before it can slide back down the side of the bath into the water.

I am proud to say this technique actually removes a good deal of the scale. Yay me.

I also notice that during this time Jol has not entered the bathroom with any water.

I walk through the lounge, where Jol is sitting finishing his snack, into the kitchen, where the kettle sits, unboiling.

I switch the kettle on, and it starts to heat up. I explain to Jol how this final stage tends to help with the actual heating of the water.

It takes an hour to get the bath about a quarter full. We decide this is good enough, and that Jol having a bath in my dirty second hand water is totally acceptable.


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