THE UNFILES: SHOWER
Tesha Mahoney, who moved to Castlemaine four years ago, greets me at the front door of her 50s weatherboard house with period-correct lawn and asks if I would like to take a shower.
"Moving to the country from Sydney's inner west was a big deal, and I I knew I would have to make the change gradually. When my partner and I started looking at property to buy, I made it very clear that I would require a dwelling in which I could re-create my early 20s, spent in random share houses around Newtown, Enmore and Marrickville."
As she gives me a quick tour of the house, she explains that she wasn't sure about it at first; although the kitchen had not been renovated since the 50s, the plumbing works and it is obvious no one has ever dropped a bong on the carpet. "But I knew this was the place for me when I saw the shower."
The previous owner, explains Tesha, chose to install a shower (100 cms wide) in the laundry, squeezed between the toilet and the back wall, a quirky little feature one would usually only find in cheap rentals. "But the fact that it is in the laundry makes undressing much easier as you can throw your dirty clothes straight in the washing machine."
She steps into the cubicle and demonstrates the series of yoga moves she has perfected in order to wash herself properly in a confined space. "It's the perfect conversation starter. As the toilet is also in the laundry, I like to hide behind the shower curtain when we have guests and jump out and surprise them as they are wiping their bums. I am naturally quite shy so this is a real ice breaker."
The shower has helped Tesha deal with homesickness and the fear of missing out that often affects people in small towns. "The ceiling is incredibly low in this room, so the extraction fan is pointless, but very very noisy, so I turn it on when I want to pretend I am living under the flight path again."
She is surprised by how useful it has been since having a baby. "It's been a real blessing in terms of my child's education, her first words were 'no', 'cat' and 'claustrophobia.' I also intend to use it as punishment as she gets older."
She did consider replacing what friends and family affectionally refer to as 'the elevator shaft' with a bigger shower in her bathroom, or even just a shower head over her bath but, "With a toddler, the Mother Lover label and the Boogaloo Invitational, I don't get a chance to shower regularly anyway."