Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bathtime

Four hours in the saddle today has left me with the kind of dull ache in my muscles that only a bath can ease: a deep, hot bath luxuriant with scented bubbles.

I am a bath, rather than a shower, person. For me, a shower is something you do when you’re in a hurry; it’s not something to be savoured. It dates back to my teenage years when our first shower was fitted. Initially, it was a novelty, but when my mum decided that showers were more efficient and should be taken in preference to baths, my contrary gene kicked in. As soon as I left home, I made a point of having a bath every day.

I cannot imagine how people can live in houses that don't have baths. The two summers I spent picking strawberries as a student were hard enough. We only had showers that were erratic and quickly ran out of warm water. My first bath on returning home was like a religious experience.

A bath is about so much more than getting clean. Bathtime is me time. I read in the bath, I drink wine, I contemplate the universe and my toes as they wrinkle and prune. Baths envelop and cosset; showers only slick off the surface.

One Christmas, my mum bought me a decadent bubble bath that looked and poured like molten gold from a square glass jar. It was a little piece of heaven that encapsulates for me what baths are all about. I fantasise about the day when I have my dream bath – a giant Edwardian roll-topped cast iron model with golden-clawed feet.

Showers? You can stick them…


29 comments:

Brom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brom said...

Have not had a bath in years. In and out of the shower in 5 that's me. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed yours mNm.


PS Post a pic next time ;-)

*Ducks to avoid thrown bar of soap.

Lizzie said...

Oh dear. Once upon a time, I indulged in a weekly Sunday bath (with an infil of showers during the week, I hasten to make clear!)Now, though, it's shower only. I can wash hair as well in a shower -a real bonus over a bath. Still, as long as we all smell fragrent..

Lizzie said...

P.S. Mind you, m&m, I could change my mind with a bath plus room as in your photograph. Please..

Omega Mum said...

Does your bath really look like that? And can I nip over and use it, if so.....four hours in the saddle? God, I'm impressed.

ziggi said...

here here!

I love my bath and I escape to it with a good book, a large glass and wallow until I can face the world again!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Oh dear Brom, no bath in five years tut tut...

Lizzie, I rinse off the conditioner with the shower, so they do have their uses! I wish that were my bathroom ..

OM, I was 'moonlighting' - only one hour of that was on the Grey Mare ...That bath is my 'dream bath'..

Ziggi, we should start the bath appreciation society...

Mya said...

As someone currently lacking hot water (heater on blink) or a bath (dream on) - reading your post was most therapeutic, like having a bath by proxy. Thanks M&M.

Mopsa said...

That is some aspirational bathroom picture - do you think anyone has a bathroom like that? Since the Queen was shown to have breakfast cereals in tupperwares, I suspect she only has a plastic avocado bathroom suite down the hall. An acquaintance has an amazingly beautiful bathroom, but so badly designed that water from the spiral shower enclosure goes everywhere, including on the handmade cabinets, your clothes, the dry towels.....Me, I want a wet room with water spurting at me from every angle under major pressure. That'll get those back muscles massaged.

Mya said...

PS. Unfortunately, in matters of personal cleanliness, there's no substitute for the real thing! Now, where's that bucket?

Anonymous said...

take your point about not wanting to live in a house without a bath - nightmare..

and don't believe the twaddle about saving water - it is because these 'time poor' southerners switched to taking showers that the privatised [boo!] water companies were able to sell off their reservoirs. So when they whinge about people 'using too much water' - guess who's to blame?

I agree with you about baths having a therapeutic quality not available from the old shower. Although I do think you are living in 'paradise postponed' land in respect of that old roll-top bath. I have a couple of friends who bought these for a fraction of their 'new' cost and then did them up by re-enamelling them.

It takes time, but the effort is worth it. In fact [and I'm not being facetious here] you may find that good quality old baths are being used as drinking troughs for cattle, since the farmer doesn't realise that a fully funky roll-top is worth about £ 3, 000 in the south east of england.

Or you could always visit Mr Bs bookshop, and bathe in the window..

http://www.mrbsemporium.com/

mountainear said...

'We' made the reluctant and pragmatic decision when we converted the barn to do without a bath. We've plenty of showers though.

It's a decision I now regret. Maybe it's a girl thing, but there's nothing quite like unwinding in warm scented water with music, a book etc etc. A bath is obviously more than just a bath, it's a sensory experience.

Orhan Kahn said...

I am a deep soapy bath or long hot shower kind of person.

Gill said...

I can't live without a bath- every night I light candles and soak and start talking to myself, which is brilliant because I get a lot of my novel dialogue that way.

After being in those big edwardian baths at holiday homes I went off wanting one. There is rarely enough water to fill them as far and as hot as you like, you can't rest your head on the back, the sides are cold and the water cools down really fast.

Iota said...

You are SO right about baths v showers. And yes, people do actually have huge Edwardian baths like in your picture. I did in my last house! It was not the only reason why I fell in love with the house when I looked round it, but it certainly was one of them. It was a lovely thing, and gave me much pleasure just looking at it every time I went into the bathroom. We once bathed 5 children in it at the same time - great fun. However, I do have to corroborate Gill's comment. I never thought a bath could be too big, but ours actually was. I am 5' 9", and it was too long for me to stretch out in, while still keeping my head above water. So I ended up having to sit up, back straight, which destroys the experience. It did take an age to fill, and the water did go cold very quickly. So I rarely used it. I still loved it though.

Stay at home dad said...

My Father's Day treat was a bath!

lady macleod said...

I see you are one of the "bath" people. I am one of the shower people but I gave birth to one of your kind. I'm sorry the joy of sitting in warm water escapes me, but to each her bit of joy! I can easily imagine after that ride a bath would be quite heavenly.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

wow, I love baths so much but rarely get a chance to have one these days. I shower instead, clearly. Forgive me for holiday-dropping but I had a bath in Ibiza - bliss. I locked the door, lit candles and used some hugely expensive bath oil I found. Bliss and heaven all rolled into one!

beta mum said...

I rarely use the bath - it's always littered with bits of moulded plastic that the kids have been playing with.
But if I could create a dream bathroom, which would obviously be out of bounds to the children, which means they'd have to have their own, then I may consider abandoning my regular in-out shower routine.

muddyboots said...

showers are fine when it's hot, but for aching limbs nothing beats a bath.

IsobelMagsBuchan said...

There is one big one problem with taking a bath....having to clean the bloody thing afterwards!

I am now a shower person only bathing following an arduous session on the garden but I do miss what I used to call my thinking time. You don't think in a shower, you just shower.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Good heavens woman! Is this a blog or a source of pornographic fanatasy? Saddle sore ladies in bubble baths.... my imagination is drooling.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Oh Mya, i feel for you, I really do!

Mopsa, I soemhow find the idea of those wet rooms not quite right...

Anon, I only bathe in front of my cats...

Mountainear, you must get one - you know you want to!

Orhan, no inbetweens - my kind of man!

Gill, I bet you could float in one though ..

Iota, I'm just 5'3 and a bit (the bit is very important), so I could probably swim in one!

SAHD, do you smell normally? ;)

Lady M, give it a go, you won't regret it- take a book and a glass (or 2) of wine ..

NMO, I think you have had too much fun on your hen weekend!!

beta Mum, chuck out the plastic, and chuck in the bubbles ..

Muddyboots, a woman after my own heart!

IMB, get back into the bath habit ...

YP, behave yourself, it was mainly my shoulders that were aching!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Wish I had time for a bath! When I do, I have the water so hot I can barely sit down in it.

DJ Kirkby said...

I have to have a quick shower in the morning before work and after work if I have done anything clinical of course(like delivering a baby), but the most luxurious pleasure of all is my nightly bath, never miss it if I have a choice. Yes we do go through a lot of water in our house... p.s. I WANT that bathroom in the picture, how gorgoeus?

dulwichmum said...

Darling M&M - you are so right. Nothing beats the bath.

Stay at home dad said...

Yes M&M, I think I smell pretty normal...

Karen said...

I do not have a bath :( there are nights when I crave one and pace about frustrated. Sometimes I have a long shower to compensate but it's not the same.

I go to my mum's (Gill) as often as possible to have a bath. It may not be a clawfoot tub (but then they are a bit chilly) and a "lovely" shade of pampas (near avocado) but to me it is heaven. I always take some of my stocked up bath product presents with me and have a damn good soak.

My favourite bathing brands are Lush and Be Never Too Busy to be Beautiful (just for cosmic ordering purposes!)

rilly super said...

28 comments but who has mentioned the fundamental problem with a shower, and I know that's what everybody is thinking so I'm going to say it: how can you play with your rubber duck in a shower? (and no, that is'nt a euphemism)

It's quite liberating commenting on posts two weeks old actually, knowing nobody is going to read it. I might do this all the time now...