Artesian baths

Bath or baths? How is it a plural when there’s only one of it? Hmm…

I did poke around the baths briefly before Easter but it was full of grey nomads, picking at the corns on their feet and shedding way too much skin for my liking. This weekend though we had a downpour of Biblical proportions. Folk who know about this stuff tell me that the last time it rained this hard they were shooting fish in the street down the Grawin.  Anyway, I thought I’d head through the drizzle for a soothing wind down. Surely it’d be empty on such a miserable day.

Fat chance.

baths sign

Grey nomads come from that resilient generation that gave us … um … moratorium marches and The Doors and … um … space hoppers. They don’t give up easily; they’re certainly not put off by a bit of drizzle. Sure enough the baths was filled with silver foxes and silver vixens, or whatever the lady equivalent is.

I dropped in, nice and slow. It was bloody warm, but not as volcanically hot as the baths The Wife likes.

hot artesian baths

There are lots of signs explaining how the water comes out of the Great Artesian Basin and through a pipe and into this baths. One of these signs looked like a cross-section of a human scalp from a shampoo advert, with the bores like hair follicles. I thought, “I should take a picture of that, for the blog”.

But I felt a bit self-conscious. These grey nomads have nothing else to do except spend an afternoon lolling around in an artesian baths, scratting at the dead skin on their shins and staring at other people. Even if I just moved a bit or paddled my hands they all turned and looked at me. It was like an episode of Meercat Manor.

One grey nomad was extolling loudly and at length about why he doesn’t buy Nescafe Blend 43 any more as it’s become a rip off. Other foxes and vixens nodded in silent agreement. One fox suggested to a rather portly and leathery vixen that, given her heart condition, she should consider hopping out. This triggered Blend 43 into a lengthy story about an episode involving his heart and the baths at Moree.

The stultifyingly warm water, the quiet drone of his voice … it’s a wonder I didn’t nod off and drown, sink to the bottom of the baths and come to rest on the benthic film of picked-off corns and skin shed from the bodies ten thousand grey nomads.

I’ll have to go back and do some more research, when there are no grey nomads. That is, when hell freezes over.

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