The novelty of a long hot bath
This week, I had to go away for work and stay in a hotel and, for about the first time in 18 months, I had a long hot bath. On my own. In absolute silence (apart from the bubbles fizzing as they melted away). For me, this is the stuff of dreams and because it is such a step removed from my normal reality, I had to fight the urge to ruin it for myself by reading, checking emails or going through paperwork. I forced myself to just lie there and relax. (I realise the words ‘force’ and ‘relax’ do not naturally come together in a sentence, but this is as good as it gets when you are so out of practice). I managed 20 minutes. I think I deserve some sort of prize.
Maybe I need to schedule in a bath twice a year. I’m reluctant to go for a more ambitious target than that because it would be ridiculous. And, when I say bath, I do not mean using a bathtub to just get clean (though obviously, coming out clean is a benefit), I mean lying down in hot water full of salts, bombs, bubbles, whatever takes your fancy, and switching off. This is easier said than done. This is because, typically, one of these scenarios usually plays out:
- Having locked the door, to try and get a bit of privacy, the children / husband banging on the door to be let in. For no good reason, just because I have locked the door and this is clearly not allowed.
- The children / husband coming in and using the toilet and chatting to me about their day a la Mrs Large from Five Minutes’ Peace. Yes, I love you, and yes I am interested, but (a) why didn’t you go to the loo before I got in and (b) can’t we have a nice chat about what you did in PE / your senior management team meeting in ten minutes time?
- My Dad ringing up and my lovely husband bringing the phone in to me (errr, no, say I am out), so that he can give me a blow by blow account of his day, including how many grams of museli he ate for breakfast and how far he has got with translating the new testament from ancient greek.
- All of the above.
- You get in and realise that some sod has used all the hot water and what you have is tepid and rapidly cooling. And the bubbles have turned into a sort of scum on the top.
- When it is only possible to sit hunched up / squat in the bath (we once stayed in a really nice hotel in Germany where the bath was a sort of big square step, you kind of had to sit upright in it, like you were at your desk. NOT relaxing at all).
- Not having one, I mean physically not having a bathtub in the house. This is a problem for us at the moment. Fortunately our friends found one in their loft when they moved into their house, so we have hatched a plan to get it out. I am not making this up, I swear. God knows how the previous owners got it up there.
- When someone else gets in with you. Yes even your husband. This is not romantic, it is uncomfortable and annoying and unless you have a bath the size of a swimming pool, it’s a no. Bugger off, it’s my bath.