Ted, our expert builder/painter and general master of everything, had just installed our new spa bath. I couldn't wait to get at it - I'd dreamed of owning a spa bath for years. I had in my memories a lifetime of film where glamorous women wallow in bubbles, with nothing on but the radio.
I set the scene. I had placed on a chair beside the bath, a box of chocolates, a new novel, a glass of wine and the radio. John had gone to play snooker and I was alone.
The picture on the front of the bubble bath mix was that of a voluptuous blonde creature who sported the name of Bubbles Galore. I kidded myself that it was definitely me! I emptied the innards of Bubbles Galore into the mix and slid into the quivering mixture. It was heaven, until a paw curved through the bubbles and swatted me on the ear. Ollie was crouched on the side of the spa, catching bubbles. He would swat them and then curve his paw inward to examine the catch. Naturally, there was nothing there. I forgot about the cat and sank back into my bubbles - I rested an elegant ankle on the tap and assumed a pose - I was definitely Bubbles Galore.
I had been in this dreamland for some time when Ollie let out a strangulated scream. It was a scream he reserved for dire situations such as cat fights and the capture of critters. He was now high up, sitting on the window sill. Below him on the floor flowed an amoeba-like river of bubbles. They had quietly been flowing over the side of the bath while I had been wallowing in my film fantasies. The amoeba tendrils had flowed through the door of the toilet and through another door into the wash house beyond.
I flopped out of the spa like a stranded seal and surveyed the damage. Perhaps if I used a bucket to transport the bubbles into the wash house tub. Have you ever trying carrying buckets of bubbles? I floundered backwards and forwards, waving my bucket, slipping and tripping. Ollie was sick of the whole performance; he suddenly launched himself into space, landed in the bubbles on the floor and swam to the outside wash house door that led to the back porch. He was a walking bubble and emitting piercing shrieks.
I flung down the bucket. "OK, cat, " I growled. I opened the door and evicted Ollie - the bubbles went too, out onto the concrete porch. I had an idea of complete genius I would sweep the bubbles out of the wash house onto the porch. I snatched the broom out of the closet cupboard and began sweeping with concentrated energy. A cough interrupted me. I straightened up to see a salesman who was trapped in the area between the bubbles and the backdoor. Our gaze met and locked. I saw reflected in his eyes the vision of a nude woman draped in a few wisps of bubbles. I was like an insect set in time - imprisoned in a piece of amber. Not a word was spoken. I drifted, dream-like, back into the wash house and closed the door.
I sat on the floor of the toilet watching for the head of salesman to pass by the mottled glass of the toilet window. Presently the shadow went past and I heard the clatter of footsteps down the steps, moving with almost indecent haste.
Then I had a thought. How long had the salesman been there? There was a clear window in the washhouse. Had the salesman watched me dancing backwards and forward with my buckets of bubbles? I would never know. He never came back. I cleaned up the mess in the bathroom, toilet and washhouse and towelled down Ollie with a wet cloth. Licking bubbles would have made him sick.
It was only later that I saw the funny side. I imagined the salesman going home and having dinner with his wife. "I had an interesting day, dear. I met a nude woman who had been having a bubble bath with a cat."