Cold comfort?

We’ve had some glorious spring weather. It has been warm… into the high teens… It has been sunny. It has been a real joy to be outside with so many flowers in bloom. Bees, butterflies and small buzzing things have fluttered about busily. The birds are flying around with beaks full of twigs and fur to build their nests. It was so pleasant that even the summer skirt and sandals came out to play…

So why, I have to ask, did there have to be a thick sheet of ice across my windscreen this morning? I know the answer to that question… because it was the day when I had to clean out my son’s ironically named hot tub.

For my son, the hot tub is a necessary and therapeutic form of hydrotherapy, addressing the non-existent circulation and spasticity in his limbs. He uses it every morning. It allows him to warm immovable muscles and, after half an hour in its swirling, heated waters, he can move about with greater ease and a little less likelihood of injury.

For me, the hot tub is a monster I get to clean every month.

By the time I get my hands on it, that warm, comforting water has been replaced by the gelid jet of the hosepipe and I get to get wet. I get to plunge my arms shoulder-deep into a pool that would give arctic waters a run for their money. By the time I am done, my teeth are chattering, my lips are blue and I am chilled to the core. My hands have done their best impression of the Union flag, cycling through white to red to blue, reminding me they have Raynaud’s. What I really need at this point is a long soak in nice, warm water… and I stare at the misnamed ‘hot’ tub, cursing.

I have, in the past, had to crawl around in there removing leaves, debris and stray gastropods. I have fallen in head first and fully clothed, much to my son’s delight. I have walked away drenched from head to toe. These days, I generally manage to get away with just being cold and damp.  I have learned, in fact, how not to clean the hot tub.

Necessity throws many unpleasant tasks our way. We always learn from them and some of those lessons can be applied to other situations. We grow in knowledge and experience, finding new ways to address old problems.

Then we get complaisant. We think we know what we are doing. We’ve got it sussed. We get blasé…  and every so often, we are reminded that we don’t know half as much as we might like to think. We stop paying attention and that’s when the hot tub overfills and you have to bale… And it will inevitably do so on a day when the temperatures don’t climb much above freezing.

Paying attention, giving yourself to the task at hand, being present… we can talk about it all we like, but we are easy to distract and sometimes, we will get it wrong. And even everyday tasks can be teachers.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to Cold comfort?

  1. Auntysocial says:

    Laughing because I feel your pain and know all too well what it’s like. I even saw you falling head first too.

    Every year I almost forget what it’s like having horses during winter. In the summer and hazy sunshine it seems a great idea and then you hit the end of Sept and from then until about late April it’s nothing but sludge, mud, rain, wind, more mud, frozen hose pipes, endlessly filling water buckets and stuffing nets and trying to negotiate your way around pitch black darkness.

    I’ll feel sure I’m prepped and have it all sussed then some joker moves the horses into a different field, sticks up some electric fencing without any white tape for me to walk into at 5am and even if I do see the fence and think I’m in front and ahead of the game, one of the dogs is seldom out from under my feet and will leg me up and leave me face down in mud anyway.

    In another couple of months it’ll be sunny and lovely again and I’ll pretend horses are a great idea 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ennle Madresan says:

    You’re so right, Sue–opportunities to learn everyday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ritu says:

    Oh I don’t envy you Sue!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You should reward your hard work somehow… like maybe a dip in the hot tub? 😉


  5. Sadje says:

    I feel your pain, and yes these things have to be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Auntysocial says:

    Literally me just trying to get 10ft across the yard in winter.


  7. jenanita01 says:

    Sounds like the worst job in the world, but at least its only once a month!


  8. joylennick says:

    Sounds much worse than 100 lines… but so graphic, I’m sorry I had to giggle ‘seeing’ you fall in fully dressed…My imagination!!. Don’t envy you the job. x


  9. Is this hot tub not the kind you can drain before cleaning?


  10. Mary Smith says:

    Made me laugh, Sue, though at the same time I was wincing at the cold. What about a wet suit?


  11. I could picture in my mind that job as you described it. The only good thing would be how it helps on hot days before the water is completely drained. Also, it’s only once a month. 😦 — Suzanne


  12. willowdot21 says:

    Yes indeed we need to be in the moment all the time. Even walking can be a danger if not thought on. I don’t mean walking in to the path of a car or stray pavement bike jockey! If l don’t concentrate on how I walk or sit I get an nasty remind me!
    I am sorry Sue I had to smile when you talked about falling in the hot tub…. I was not surprised that Nick laughed that’s suns for you!!


  13. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    Sue Vincent has a monthly chore that has taught her many lessons and only one of those is how to clean a hot tub and not fall in. When it is freezing cold that is a definite necessity. But it also serves to teach us a valuable lesson…..about being present…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Anonymous says:

    Ol’ Jack frost isn’t leaving for awhile..


  15. Anonymous says:

    Oh that’s a rotten job Sue, poor you, and I can feel the cold just reading about it. I love your outlook though, and it must really help to keep you going. I’ll bear your thoughts in mind when the three and a half hours per day of school runs I have to do is driving me round the twist – which is quite regular, and becoming more so if I’m honest. Still, I must be thankful for small mercies – at least I’m in doing three-and-a-half hours of school runs in a comfy, warm car. 🙂


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Good grief, that’s a lot of school running! I am so glad to be beyond that particular timetable… though to be fair, I used to enjoy the time walking the boys to school, long, long ago 😉


  16. dgkaye says:

    Ahh, yes, the glorious moments when we we’re certain we have everything under control and avert our eyes in the wrong moment. LOL 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. noelleg44 says:

    We love our hot tub! So good for aches and pains. But we drain it, then clean it and rinse it out, then fill it again. Of course, Hubs and I have a longer reach than you, so we don’t envy you that job. YOU need your own tub!


  18. Eliza Waters says:

    Oh, dear, sounds awful. Between the tub and the pond, I sure hope Nick appreciates all you do!


  19. Widdershins says:

    Isn’t there some local lass or lad you can sub this particular job out to? I think it’s trying to tell you something. 🙂


    • Sue Vincent says:

      We’ve enough on trying to find the cash to re-do Nick’s rotting woodwork at the moment to get his wheelchair in the garden without him going through it. I’ll be handyman for some time to come… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Jennie says:

    You are so right, Sue!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.