Sunday Tittle Tattle: Crying Over Spilt Bubbles

sunday tittle tattle

Why is it (and this is a rhetorical question, so don’t feel the need to reply) that I can pour half a bottle of washing up liquid into a bubble machine, which is specifically designed to make bubblesand no bubbles come out, yet I can knock a tube of “non-foaming” baby wash from the bathroom shelf at 2am and the contents, when I try to clean them up, produce a seemingly everlasting stream of the bloody things?

Oh I could have cried. I was so tired and all I wanted was a toilet roll for the en suite so that I could have a middle-of-the-night wee. (Can’t flush the chain in the main bathroom after 7pm as Angelica’s head is the other side of the wall! Small, mundane insight into my home life for you there.) As I reached for the bog roll I managed to knock a glass bottle of bath oil, which I – amazingly – caught with my left hand, but a tube of baby wash happened also to be precariously balanced on the edge of the shelf and even my superhuman reactions weren’t enough to save it.

sunday tittle tattle

You’d have thought that a plastic squeezy tube would survive a five foot fall pretty well, it being squidgy and bouncey and all, but no. The top broke off, the contents exploded in a slick across the bathroom tiles and I was left trying to clear it up with various pieces of cloth and tissue and cardboard. Yes, cardboard. Because have you ever tried to wash shower gel from something? It makes no sense! It IS the wash! You can’t wash wash! Try to clear it up with dry tools, such as towel and cloth, and it just spreads all about the place in a white smear; add water and – quite frankly – you’re shafted. It was the bubbly gift that just kept on giving. The more I tried to clear it up, the more it foamed, then I realised that the toilet – which I couldn’t flush due to the passing of the flushing curfew – was up to the rim with baby-wash-soaked tissue paper. And there was another worry: what with all of the “non-foaming” gel in the toilet, what the hell was going to happen when I flushed the chain? Would the toilet turn into the world’s largest bubble-making machine?

Thankfully no. And in the end, I managed to scrape up the lion’s share of the baby wash using an empty cardboard loo roll tube and the flap of a breast pad box. All the time wondering how my life had become quite so glamorous.

ice cream bubbles

Anyway, all of this brings me back to my initial point, which is that I can’t even seem to make foamy water for a bubble machine. Or for the (pictured) novelty ice cream cone bubble wand, which surely even a simpleton could produce bubbles from. I’ve tried all sorts of mixtures, from pure soap to wishy-washy liquid with the faintest hint of detergent. What is the correct ratio of Fairy Liquid to water? The Science Museum says that this is the recipe for the perfect bubble, just FYI: 95% water, 3% washing up liquid, 2% glycerine. Failing that, just throw some shower gel on your bathroom floor in the middle of the night and you’ll have the things coming out of your ears…


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  1. Vesna
    June 18, 2017 / 8:59 am

    Really really funny! Don’t get me wrong, I know it was pure disaster for you that night but it’s actually the way you write that turns these situations into big adventures – almost that I wish it happened to me so I could laugh to myself whenever I remember it.
    Love reading everything you write (read both your blogs religiously), but if I need to choose I’d say funny stories like this and books recommendations are my favourite posts – it’s obvious I can’t wait for you to release your own book that you talked about some time ago.

  2. Sarah
    June 18, 2017 / 10:05 am

    I’ve always had luck with a ratio of one part dish soap (the cheap stuff)/ 5 parts water. Or whatever ratio works for the machine.

    Last week I was going to change the baby at 3am, bleary eyed, without my coke-bottle thick glasses, and in the dark. I stubbed my toe on the ottoman that I swear jumped in front. I’m almost certain I at least fractured it, as it hurt to wear shoes for several days and still hurts. How I managed to not drop the baby can only be explained by evolution of finely turned maternal instinct.over millions of years.

  3. June 18, 2017 / 11:48 am

    I knwo I shouldn’t, but i am laughing so hard right now. An empty cardboard loo roll, oh so glamourous! Oh, and I just buy the liquid for the bubble things, never tried to make it myself.

  4. Lorna
    June 18, 2017 / 5:42 pm

    So true, I’ve never managed to make really good bubble mix. Then one day I asked ubermum next door and she told me she bought it! A pound a litre at the works and worth every penny :-)

  5. Julia
    June 18, 2017 / 11:25 pm

    This gave me such giggles I woke my poor husband from his nap. Thank you for being so gosh darn normal. And thank you for your delightful style of writing. I always enjoy reading your work!

  6. Gaby
    June 19, 2017 / 10:27 am

    It’s a hilarious story, and oh so relatable!! We also have a flushing curfew in our house – there is a main bathroom on one side of the baby’s room, and the WC on the other. Whichever one you flush it’s like a bloody F1 race in the pipes, so no flushing passed 8pm. We are currently in the midst of a house renovation project, so we made sure to add extra sound isolation all over the walls and floors :)) Everybody deserves a bit of dignity and mystery :D
    Also another thing that hit me after reading your post about spilled baby wash at 2am – THIS!!! These seemingly small and not serious accidents that drive you to the bottom of desperation and (almost) make you cry. Realising that your car was stolen from under your window after a sleepless night tending to a sick baby when you are about to go to doctor’s appointment? We don’t sweat this kind of stuff, call the taxi and move on. Your precious baby found an access to the oils and condiments’ drawer in the kitchen and spilled the stuff all over just when you are about to sit down and enjoy your Sunday morning coffee? Major meltdown (for mama) :)) oh, the ups and downs of motherhood..

  7. Poorani
    June 19, 2017 / 6:50 pm

    You see the funny side in everything. Very admirable.

  8. Fran
    June 19, 2017 / 10:47 pm

    Humble brag (not for me, thankfully!) my husband wrote the info on that webpage (his much (much!) younger self is in a bubble at the bottom!) green fairy liquid is your friend, it’s the best for bubbles! And you can get plain glycerol from boots. That’s if you really, really want to go for it. Otherwise, the best stuff is, yes – baby bath wash!! The best we’ve tried is from good old Lidl. We so fancy :)
    We also have a loo curfew! Until you’ve lived it, you can’t truly know haha x

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