Whatever happened to bath time?


Do I nearly always shower? A long soak in the tub comes from an era when things were less hurried. Bath time for me now evokes a period in England that is ‘mid Agatha Christie’. Milk was delivered to your door and fruit flavoured ice lollies contained no actual fruit, only additives. Women wore A line skirts and no one ever swore on TV. Any form of ablution was to be enjoyed, be it a bath full of ducks, battleships or even other playmates! And nearly always at the end of the day so you could take as long as wanted. Morning showers have sort of crept up on me as the only way to clean. I have lived for two years in this house and whose bath is a whirlpool. In that time the only things ever washed in it have been the dogs! As a kid the idea of a whirlpool bath would have offered more fun than an aircraft hanger sized slot car track. Creating bubbles without having to fart would have been nirvana; the idea it was big enough for all your friends to splash about would have been so exciting that I would have performed household chores just to be able to have a bath like that!

...and another thing

However, there are occasions when I do choose a bath. English country houses for example. Most have plumbing that was installed by the Romans, with taps often dispensing brown water and yet they always bring out the Downton Abbey in me. I almost catch myself saying I need the butler to draw me a bath.

Now you may be sitting there saying…

“Mark, you are a delusional oaf. English country houses don’t have showers.”

Wrong. They may not have cubicles but the ancient tubs with individual hot and cold taps always have a giant rubber stethoscope-like apparatus you can attach and have a shower if needed.

Often the rubber plug from one tap will come off mid rinse so with soap in my eyes and drilled with either boiling or freezing water, I struggle to reattach the missing rubber tube. But the option to shower rather than bathe is always there. I just never risk it!

History dictates a bath.

Cleopatra liked a soak in asses milk before a tryst with Caesar or Anthony. Not sure shagging someone who smells like Yakut is very sexy, but that’s Romans for you.

Sleek and modern means a shower. We all know what happened in the shower in Psycho.

There are exceptions. Michael Jackson apparently liked a dip in Perrier water… which adds to a long list of things that worried me about him.

...and another thing

Showers just lack glamour. You cannot sip champagne in it nor can you enjoy it in candlelight. You cannot read in it, watch TV, do a crossword or play on-line games in it. You cannot talk on the phone, write an email or even enjoy a cigar, let alone listen to music properly. And it’s not a very social place. Sharing a shower with someone else is confined and as rushed as taking the shower itself. Indeed I fell over when in the shower with someone else. I reached out to stop myself falling. Turned the shower to boiling hot. Scalded my private parts and broke three ribs.

In the bath you have a decent amount of shelf space for tinctures, unguents, lotions and potions as well as somewhere to put your glasses so you can actually read what the contents are!

 Admittedly you have to get out to have a pee and rinsing your hair in fresh water is easier in a shower but on balance the tub is a chance to unwind and something I am determined to bring back into my life! Maybe I’ll give it a go the next time the dogs have one!

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One Comment

  1. Peter says:

    Perhaps in your next blog you could advise on how to get out of the bath. That’s my problem !!!

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