Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Last night I did something, which I have never done before! It’s something which you do on your own in the bathroom, something which I’m sure millions of people all around the world do on a regular basis, yet I have never had the nerve to try before.

The build up took a while, we have quite a large bath, and so it takes time to get a good depth of bubbly-topped water swishing around. Whilst the bath was filling up I was listening to some very relaxing jazz on radio 3 and the thought came to me – why not do it now? I’ve thought of doing it before and have often been jealous, when I hear how some people can do it for hours.

After all it does combine several of my favourite things, listening to music, relaxing in deep warm water and “the thing”. After 2 games of football in as many days, my legs were feeling really stiff, so this was the perfect night for a long recuperating soak, and consequently the perfect time for me to take the plunge into this new world of delights.

I slowly took my aching limbs down the stairs, collected the tools for my new adventure and eased myself into the wonderfully inviting foam, before leaning back and opening up my copy of the review section of Saturdays Guardian. That’s right, my virgin experience was to read the newspaper, whilst lying in the bath!

To many of you that won’t sound like a big deal but I have always been convinced that some terrible soggy mishap would befall me. The crucial denouement in that exciting piece on 14the century Flemish poetry would literally disappear before my eyes, because of some inappropriate splashing.

I’m 42 and despite the fact that I lack the ability to swim, I have been safely taking baths for many years now. Surely I told myself, I’m ready to take this experience to the next level. What a lovely treat it was! I emerged some 40 minutes later, considerably more fragrant and clean than I had been earlier and mentally invigorated by reading splendid articles on James Ellroy, Edwin Lutyens, and German witchcraft as well as Richard Ford’s thoughts on being a Democrat, after their latest election setback.

Who knows, I may even try reading a book in the bath next time!


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