The House with the Pink Shutters – The Bath on the Balcony. Samos Greece
Last year, as part of the gardening plan, we decided to keep the bath tub when we renovated the bathroom and installed a walk in shower. Having been a social worker for a good part of my life I have seen way too many older people admitted to hospital with broken hips, hypothermia, head injuries and an assortment of other broken bones and skin tears. The cause? A shower installed over a bathtub. A huge falls risk for people with limited mobility and creaky joints. So in the spirit of planning ahead and thinking about our retirement home – we decided that bath tub had to go and with it the daily battle with the shower curtain that constantly tried to mould itself to our bodies.
Our neighbour, Kosta, who happens to be a good tiler, reliable and hardworking – a rare combination for a tradesman on Samos if my experience is anything to go by on this island was hired to carry out most of the work. Our plumber, George, popped in and out to give orders and delegate. First the bath had to be removed and being one of those old cast iron affairs which would be worth a small fortune in scrap but extremely heavy and difficult to transport even if we had a car/truck, we had to decide what to do with it. So I polled my friends for a solution. My preference was to use it as a herb garden down at the allotment or on the terrace of the little unit opposite the house. Most of my friends liked the idea of using it as a huge ice bucket for social gatherings and I have to say that I was tempted for a while. As it turned out the bath was so heavy that the only solution was to move it a short distance onto the terrace and leave it there.
When we returned this year one of the first things on our list of to do was to build a wood surround to support the bath and turn it into a useful item rather than a redundant, rusty, enamel chipped tub. Then I had an idea how to make the it multi-functional that is both garden and ice bucket. Currently I have strawberries in the bath but they are planted in a grow bag that can be removed at a moments notice should a container be required hold a ton of ice in order to chill the copious amounts of alcohol that my friends consume, and clearly think that the two fridges in our house are inadequate. So there, I have planned for happy gardeners and happy drinkers. After all if strawberries and champagne is good enough for Wimbledon its good enough for us. Should be a good summer.