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 bubbles, and 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.
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.
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…