Ode to a new tub

So yesterday I had the bad stuff (update, seems having a swanky job title helps, my case has been escalated to someone whose surname is the same as that on the side of the hotel so maybe I’ll get something back after all) so now for some good stuff. Our house in a state of renewal right now. We live in a rented house that we’ve been in for a good few years now, and it’s starting to show the stresses and strains of rented accommodation that hasn’t been spruced up in a while. Last September we reported to the estate agents that nominally run the property that we needed new flooring in the bathroom and the kitchen and now, just a mere 9 months later, the work is being done. It only took endless emails back and forth, threatening legal actions and the eventual withholding of rent to get there. The upside to the saga is that because they’ve left it so long we’re actually getting a completely refitted bathroom.

And so it was with great excitement, after four years of not having a bath (relax, we had a shower, we’re not cave people) the other night I was able to rush out and buy loads of nice bath stuff and scented candles and the like. Not because I’m a great big softy at heart (although I am) but because I adore having a bath. Seriously. I love baths, to an almost manic level, and being without the means to have one for four years has driven me almost spare.

A bath my favourite way to unwind, and also my favourite place to read. Which means it’s probably good that I’m not reading via an electronic medium, I suppose. You might think this is a bit odd, but there’s a reason for it.

I used to go to one of those schools that’s so posh they don’t let you go home very often. Long and short of that story is that I had a pretty miserable time for a good few years. One of my favourite ways to escape this misery was to go into the bathrooms, which had big old cast iron tubs in cubicles, on a Sunday after my weekly indoctrination session and get into a bath with a book.

I wouldn’t leave until I absolutely had to, which usually meant four or five refills of the bath and half a book later. Nobody else knew that I used to do this, and because on a Sunday everyone else was out being sociable or getting the hell out of the school I pretty much had the place to myself.

Occasionally some of the sporty types would surge into the huge bathrooms celebrating their victory or mourning their loss, but after ten or fifteen minutes of noise I’d have the place to myself again.

This admittedly odd ritual is also the same reason I love Douglas Adams. I remember specifically reading the entire Hitchhiker saga over a couple of weekends. I remember also getting really into the Allan Dean Foster adaptations of the Alien movies. Good times, when a book was the surest way to escape the drudgery and awfulness of the rest of my existence. Looking back, it’s probably around this time that I started wanting to be a writer, back there in the baths having my mind expanded and world transported.

Strange, the things we carry with us. There is something so utterly calming about a good bath, and now I have one. Good times.