Back on 12 June I did a posting about the state of the pool and how we were desperately trying to get it emptied and cleaned so that we could enjoy it again. But we kept hitting problems – the need to cut up the cover to get it out of the pool, the rains that came in mid-June and re-filled the deep end, the lining that came away from the sides, my double-ducking in the gloop etc. So we called on good-looking pool guy Andrea for advice and his guys have been here the last two days getting things sorted for us.

I have to say the guys have been great and have saved us from having to re-line the thing. But as ever with our roller-coaster life, our pool challenges hadn’t ended. First off once I’d got the remainder of the water out of the deep-end it was apparent that there was a load of water beneath the lining there. So we had to try and find the punctures on our hands and knees – eventually we did but it was real needle in a haystack stuff. It was made more difficult because in the deep end it was like standing on a water bed which also made it impossible to clean the lining in that part of the pool. The really great weather we’ve been having of late has also resulted in the residual gloopy mess getting baked onto the pool lining. So we were having to use ammonia-based cleaning agents to get it off as we were only able to use soft sponges on the delicate lining to do the cleaning. In the confines of the pool this wasn’t pleasant stuff and at 25E a bottle, Chanel no5 would have been cheaper to apply.

Anyway Andrea’s guys came and pulled off the lining at one side, pumped out the remaining water beneath the lining, repaired the punctures, reapplied the lining and the final master stroke, they put a huge pipe down one side and connected it up to a powerful vacuum which sucked out the air and caused the lining to reapply itself against the walls and floor. They left us lunchtime yesterday and asked us to leave the suction device on overnight. This meant we could clean the remainder of the pool before they returned next day. Once cleaned they also asked that we should start filling the pool to a depth of 20cm to allow the water pressure to help force the lining back into the corners.

Cleaning the deep end was the hardest work we’ve ever done. It was so hot inside the empty pool, no air, heat reflecting off the gleaming walls and the sun beating down. I glugged down 6 litres of water (blimey that’s almost as much as my nightly wine intake) and ended up with a wet tea towel over my head and neck, topped off with a baseball cap, as protection from the glare. C reckoned my old mate Bezhad would have been proud of my Lawrence of Arabia appearance. I didn’t care if I looked a prat with an arab hat, the last thing I needed was a dose of sunstroke. Boy this must be what it’s like to get stranded in the desert. Soooo hot.

By 6pm we’d finished the cleaning at long last. It’s taken us a month but this is the finished result:

You can see the Henry-like vacuum on the left hand side. What a sucking machine. I was going to make a joke about whether the pool guys get to take him home at night but I was too shattered and anyway I’m too polite and sophisticated. I’m not sure C would have appreciated that image of Andrea….. I was just pleased to know that every inch of that bloody pool had been scrubbed cleaned, and by us. God knows what it would have cost to have paid to have it done. We were weary but so satisfied to have done it. So we plonked the garden seat around the spot from where the photo was taken, sat down and had a glass of very chilled wine as we turned the water on to start the filling process. It’s been running non stop and 12 hours later it’s still only about 10cm deep. Our daughter E and husband S and the grandkids arrive next Monday and we’re hoping to have everything hunky dory for when they arrive. I think I’ll let my grandson S have the inaugural opening dive. Fingers crossed and happy bombing!



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