Columnists

Wed 16 Jul 2014

The Landlady Pooling resources ...

Back in February, when I was in Turkey, I mentioned to one of my neighbours that I wanted to purchase a paddling pool to put in my Turkish front yard for the scorching summer months. We were sitting in her house at the time, playing post-dinner games as it poured with rain outside. She claimed that she had a paddling pool that she’d bought and wasn’t going to use, said that I was welcome to it and that we’d agree a price at a later date.

I took the (extremely heavy) boxed pool back to my little house that evening and thought no more of it. The next time I visited, I took my neighbour some solar-powered fairy lights and a blonde eyebrow pencil, which she deemed fair exchange for the pool.

“What I’d actually purchased was an Olympic sized paddling pool”


Meanwhile, because the weather was too cold to even contemplate pool antics, the pool sat in the corner of my living room still in its box and was used as an emergency chair and as a stool to be stood on to reach the top of my blinds, while it waited patiently to be a pool.

A crowd of us were out in Turkey last week, and, because it was 37 degrees on some days, we decided it was high time to pump up the paddling pool. We were rather the worse for wear on the first couple of days and couldn’t face opening the box, as we knew that some kind of work in the heat would certainly ensue.

When we finally opened the box on the third day, we realised that what I’d actually purchased, or traded, was an Olympic sized paddling pool. It was 8 feet in diameter and 2.5 feet tall and had an instruction booklet that would put War And Peace to shame. After reading the instruction booklet several times, we surmised that a level surface would have to be provided in order to create a suitable base and decided to leave it until the next day.

During a flurry of activity the following day, we managed to collect piles of cardboard and rubber underlay from rubbish bins and dragged it all home in a taxi to create our ‘base’. Because the men were suffering from a combination of heatstroke and hangover, the ladies were designated to pump up the pool, which, if you look at the photographs, looks like a still from a bizarre x-rated film as we pumped and sweated away.

The pool took four hours to fill, at a cost (I’m reliably informed) of 2.5 Turkish Lira per tonne.

On the last night, because the water went off, we all had to have a bath and wash our hair in the pool, plus use the water to flush the loo and water the Bougainvillea ... genius!