I went to Happy Casa the other day to buy a bench for the garden to go under one of the big trees. I could see myself in my old age sitting quietly in the shade of the tree reading a good book and sipping on a little libation or two.
Happy Casa seems to have undergone a transformation in the past 2 years. Before they were quite a staid shop with boring stuff at uncompetitive prices. however they must have a new buyer or two and the stores are full of colourful material selling at very good prices. It is much more like a store in the UK or North America.
In the entrance area they had a display of above ground swimming pools all on offer. My eye was caught by a 3M X 2M X 1M number which was reduced from €300 to €199 and included the electric pump.
Always a sucker for a deal I bought it as well as the bench . Of course I have now had to buy the chlorine tablets, the PH tablets both + and minus, a set of steps to get in it, anti algae liquid, a thermometer to see the water temperature, a pool testing pack to check the water, a net to pick up debris, a brush to clean the bottom and sides and finally 5,000 litres of water to fill the pool. Suddenly my bargain ain’t looking so great !
I also had to put it together which to make sure I was doing it right I, in a very un male moment bothered to read the instructions.
My god I wish I hadn’t. The pool is made in China for the American market and the health and safety boys have had a field day with it. It seems I was embarking on one of the most dangerous times in my life as I tackled putting it together. With two paragraphs it seems I had chanced death three times and I hadn’t even touched the pump nor horror of horrors the plug let alone put it in a socket. Every paragraph ends in “could cause death”. You really don’t want to read the instructions for actually using it but living here in Puglia out in the countryside where ambulance drivers have no GPS nor any knowledge of any area outside of their own town and happily motor around on an emergency call for hours asking directions. I really enjoyed the instruction to install a poolside telephone programmed to dial the emergency services automatically.
The assembly took very little time as I had the help of an Italian friend Franco who looked at the picture on the box and built it from that while I staggered on through the news of impending disasters on the first few pages . By the time I looked up he had it finished and was amazingly still very much alive and kicking.
With Mario the water man due this morning I turned my attention to the instructions on filling it so I was ready when he arrived.
Wow I realised this was going to be an highly dangerous thing to be doing. It’s seems the water flows in ( an incredible idea you will agree when filling it !) and the seams take the strain. So, say the instructions, don’t stand near either end of the pool when filling is taking place and if the pool is on a slight slope don’t stand at the downward end ever. Death could result it said just in case the seams split and the water poured out. All 5,000 litres of it that’s a bit bigger than a bath.
My mind immediately went to one of my favourite films the Dam-busters
and I started to recall the scenes in that as the first dam bursts. Roads are blasted away, cattle and people brushed aside and a whole train deluged. I looked up at the farm some one kilometre from our house and imagined the tidal wave washing away the place.
I heard the voice of Mickey Martin in P for Poppsie coming on the intercom and announcing he was starting his run over my paddling pool to bounce a bomb along it to break the seams and set the catastrophe in play. Maybe those Italian hunters we talked about last week firing their guns at the incoming aircraft thinking they were thrushes on migration.
Boy did I have fun as my imagination ran away with me. In fact Mario didn’t turn up today with the water ( it’s Italy and Monday doesn’t necessarily mean Monday but is just a clear indication that he will be here sometime this week unless something else turns up) so you will have to wait until tomorrow to see if I am still here or about 3 kilometres away lying in a field having been swept off . I could of course get my surf board out and see if I could surf on the wave. Hmmm.
Anyway here is the clip from the film. Enjoy.