Pool’s Open ! Must be Summer !

It was nice to see the swimming pool emerge all blue and reasonably pristine from its seven month hibernation under cover.

Our pool. Back to its blue best.It’s one of life’s mysteries as to how come, when the thing’s sealed up tighter than a drum, leaves manage to work their way under the cover and into the pool. But they do and have to be tiresomely fished-out before the summer setting-up process begins.

Not that this is especially arduous. A quick scrub of the coping stones to restore them to whiter-than-whiteness; a run-round the top of the pool liner with a sponge; and tipping-in 200 kilos of salt.

Two hundred kilos of salt ? Yes. Our pool uses a saltwater – as opposed to a chlorine-based – purification system.

Why ? With a saltwater pool there are no toxic chemicals to buy, store, or handle; no stinging eyes; no nasty reactions with treated hair or sensitive skin; no horrible chlorine smell; and though a saltwater system’s more expensive to install, it’s then easier and cheaper to maintain. Just another 199 boxes to go. Pauline salts the pool.

That’s why Pauline spent a productive afternoon opening 200 boxes of granular sea-salt we’d bought from the supermarket and emptying the contents into the pool.

Q: Isn’t that a little…long-winded ? Why not buy salt in bulk ?

A: Strangely, it’s nearly 80% cheaper to buy 200 little boxes from a supermarket than a few big bags from the pool company. Which gives you an idea of their mark-up.

Q: Didn’t you get a few funny looks when you arrived at the check-out with 200 boxes of salt ?

A: Oddly enough – no. Italian check-out girls are way too cool.

So, the pool’s clean and freshly-salted. Now it’s all down to the weather. 80,000 litres of water gets a little chilly over winter and takes its own sweet time to warm-up again.

Predictably, after two weeks blazing sunshine, it started drizzling as soon as the cover came off, but another couple of weeks of slowly rising temperatures should do the trick in good time for your Abruzzo holiday.

Now we just need to remember where we stored the sunbeds…

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