Shower Mistakes

We’ve been away in the Lakes this weekend, staying at a guest house before the Christening of of friend’s daughter. We were staying in the highly-recommended Ravenstone Hotel, which was very nice. Homely enough to retain the charm of a small B&B; yet modern, clean, and with sufficient facilities to let you think you’re staying in a chain hotel. The staff were also exceptionally kind towards Lucy, helping us wherever they could – providing her with real food cooked for a baby, not just some processed jar stuff.

Sunday morning came all-too-quickly after a comfortable night’s sleep. Despite the gale-force winds rattling everything outside, it was peaceful and the breakfast was very good. Unfortunately I made a real beginner’s mistake that morning. When you’re in a hotel and having a shower, if you get the temperature to be tolerable, you should then leave things alone. Tweaking it to be slightly hotter or cooler can only result in you diving through the shower curtain head-first into the door.

Being a bit stunned about getting out of bed at 6am, I made the critical error: finding the shower it to be slightly too cool for my liking, turned the dial anti-clockwise by a smidge and then needed 999 assistance with third degree burns.

I don’t know what it is about hotel showers that make them so different to domestic ones. At home, we have an old but functional mixer shower, which has an outer ring for on/off, with an inner dial for hot / cold. Going from unpleasantly cold to unpleasantly hot takes a movement of about an inch and a half. Pretty much everywhere I seem to go stay, though, turning the inner dial by 1mm takes you from having frozen peas to boil-in-the-bag meatballs, if you catch my drift.

Even staying with my in-laws is a bit odd though. Their shower is exactly the same design as ours, yet the outer on / off ring takes about 3 full turns to shut the water off. That doesn’t sound a lot, but when you can only turn the dial 1/3 turn at a time, it feels like you’re hand-pumping the shower getting it to switch on. The most confusing part about it is that the hot / cold arrows are the wrong way round.

Think about that for a minute. You’re in their shower for the first time and the water starts to go a bit hot, because someone is running the cold tap. No problem: just turn the dial down a bit. Ow! Turn the dial down a bit more. NO! OW!!! At this point, the person running the water downstairs turns their tap off and you’re now left with the shower running slightly hotter than it was before. This time, you now revert back to the principles discussed earlier: if it’s tolerable, then leave things alone.

It took me many, many showers at my in-laws before I actually worked out the dial was the wrong way round.