Living in a rental property seems strange.  Tim & I have owned a home for the last 10+ years and for all those years we spent most of our off work time on a house/property related project.  We’d fit in fun around that, but most weekends you could find at least one of us with a paintbrush, shovel or hammer in hand at any given moment.  Now, in France, in a house we don’t own, we have no obligation to do anything related to the house except to change the lightbulbs (which can be a challenge of its own, since French lightbulbs are strangely hard to change).

When we moved in, the landlord said that he was going to have a handyman come by to do some jobs to make things a little bit better at our new house.  A handyman that’s not named Tim and/or Steph?  Bring it.

There was a spot in the bathroom in the shower/tub area that needed immediate attention, so about a month after we moved in, the handyman showed up to deal with the moldy part near the shower head.  Prior to this handyman’s work, we had a moldy but passable French ‘shower’ with the hand-held nozzle stuck on to the wall with this bar-like contraption that it snapped on to.  At that point, you could (somewhat) comfortably stand in the shower and linger a bit, your only worry being how to minimize the amount of water going on to the floor, since we don’t have a proper shower curtain, only a French half-glass wall.  After the handyman’s work, we had a mold-less tiled shower wall with no mounting bar, just the traditional French hand-held shower.

Owen, who just recently recognized the difference between clean vs. dirty (except in the case of his underwear), was immediately perturbed. Since he had only recently found the joy of standing in a hot shower, he was now at a crossroads – how to relax in the shower while holding the nozzle over your head and worrying about how much water you’re spraying on the floor……… Obviously, not so relaxing.

If we had been at our house in VT and faced with a similar problem, Tim (or I) would have channeled our inner Bob Vila and drilled through the nicely/newly tiled wall to mount the bar to hang the shower nozzle. But…..this is not our house.  That, and we didn’t bring a drill.

So, now we are left with a very traditional hand-held shower and a half-glass wall. Very French.

Occasionally, Owie will start to complain about this situation and it always turns into one of my “Despicable Me’s Mother” moments.  I usually end of saying something like, “I feel so bad that you are being forced to take a shower in a sub-standard bathroom in France!  Where is the justice in the world!?!?”

All of this hubbub with the shower has really diminished the number of showers being taken in our house.  However, instead of focusing on how stinky everyone is, I have chosen to focus on the great benefit to the planet, since we are saving so much water.  I am also trying to ignore the fact that Eamon’s hair is about 4 shades darker than usual, since his showering went from infrequent to impossible.  And for those of you planning a visit to France, you have been warned.



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