On the Subject of Baths

I commented in my last blog (https://megkingston.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/a-long-short-week/) that I was running a bath when a friend phoned. I should mention that this isn’t unusual – I often take a bath during the day and will answer the phone if it rings while I’m in there.

After all, Churchill used to hold meetings while he was in the bath. And if it’s good enough for Winnie, it’s fine by me. At least you can’t see me over the phone!

Baths are not simply a way to get clean – a bath is a refuge from the world, a place where I can relax and enjoy a book in peace. Depending on the weather, it’s a way for me to get warm after being out in the cold or to cool myself down when I’m overheated. It’s a way to scrub myself clean after hospital visits or just soak away everyday dust. It’s the place I wash my waist-length hair and it’s a legitimate excuse to ignore the doorbell.

A shower really isn’t the same. There’s no relaxing in a shower, no time to enjoy a soak – it just doesn’t cut it for me. I know the water-saving Nazis claim a shower uses less water, but I’m not convinced – it takes more than their regulation four minutes to rinse out my hair. And sitting on a chair is no fun in the wet when you can’t stand up to shower. And I share my bath water as Hubby generally follows me in.

Reading in the bath takes a little skill that’s worth practicing. I can hold a book in my left hand and turn a page with the thumb – all one-handed. Nowadays, I might be reading something on the Kindle – in its waterproof cover, of course. Or if my eyes are playing up, I can plug my MP3 player into an egg-shaped gadget that transmits an audio book over the airwaves to a yellow duck-shaped speaker in the bathroom. No mains electricity near my bath!

There are even animals that enjoy a good bath. Anyone who’s watched sparrows splashing in their garden will have noticed they spend far more time abluting than strictly necessary for cleanliness. And a horse crossing a river or walking into the sea. Although macaques in the hot springs of Japan are probably the nearest to human bathophiles.

I do love my bath. And I’ll continue to spend an hour there with a book and to answer the phone if you’re foolish enough to ring when I’m soaking.

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One Response

  1. I really do miss having a bath in the house for precisely the reason that you can’t take a good book in the shower. Or relax. And I think once you get over that regulation 4-minute shower, you’re using more water than the average bath.

    Baths for all, I say!

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