See, after more than two decades of rental accommodation that’s usually featured Stinging Needle or Slow Trickle showerheads, accompanied by the Interminable Wait, Random Scorcher or Arctic Interval water systems, I have finally lucked into a somewhat blissful bathroom experience.
The temperature of the water is constant and just the right side of that required to boil a medium-sized lobster. The shower head is the size of a small pizza dish and is positioned above me rather than on some armature jutting out from the wall at an angle that requires contorting the body like you’re about to dance the funky chicken. You’d never know the showerhead is low-flow as it blasts out solar-heated water that’ll be recycled to wash our clothes or irrigate the garden. It all contributes to a feeling of clean-conscience cleanliness.
Thing is, part of our mission over this year is to bring down our water usage and while smart design and technology is helping us do that, it’s also up to us. Hence the simple egg timer suction cupped to the wall. Not that I’ve ever been a taker of long showers. I’m usually done in, say, six or seven minutes. However, the blue sands of the egg timer give me just over half that time, while the perfection of the shower itself makes me want to stay in there until lunch time. Alanis Morrissette would have a lyrical field day with this one.
The first few days in the Smart Home, four minutes seemed not nearly long enough. I mean, just as I was sinking into the feeling of revitalisation and relaxation, I had to hurriedly soap, rinse and switch off. But, as with anything, you get used to it pretty quickly. And I’m yet to have any of the other passengers on the bus turn their noses up at me, so I’m assuming the results of a shorter shower smell as sweet as a longer one.
It’s also a good feeling knowing that while my old washes (using high-flow heads gushing up to 25 litres a minute) could’ve used 150 litres or more, I’m now using 36 litres or less (the Smart Home showerheads are rated three stars, for nine litres a minute or less). Estimates say that by 2021 Australians could save themselves $600m on water and energy bills — and a whopping 610,000 megalitres, which is more than is in Sydney Harbour — by using water efficient technology. Twenty-five percent of that is in the shower, and that includes the humble egg timer along with the low-flow showerheads.
Four minutes in the shower’s also long enough for me to think my ‘Big Thoughts’ for the day, too. Just this morning I realised that shorter showers could’ve saved any number of starlets in horror movies. If Janet Leigh in Psycho had been in more of a hurry, for instance, she might’ve been out, dry and dressed before [spoiler alert!] Tony Perkins had even had a chance to get into his mum’s house dress.