Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Ablutions

Our hot water is heated by our log burner fire. After a full day cutting grass and making informal piles of hay ...I just couldn't be arsed lighting it last night.......Big mistake.
I was in desperate need of a bath.
People today forget that daily baths and showers are a luxury.
When I was a kid I only ever had a bath:-
1. Once a week on a Sunday Night..the night before school
2. After I had a fever
Adults, I suspect only had a bath:-
1. On a Friday or Saturday night before " going out"
2. Before visiting the doctors
3. Before sex
At all other times, you had to make do with a comprehensive " strip wash" at the sink.
Soap, hot water,a bar of imperial leather and a great deal of " brusque" rubbing with a flannel was the order of the day.
I am however, of a generation that enjoyed the transition between " the immersion heater" bath ( and my father bellowing " TURN THE BLOODY THING OFF! I AM NOT MADE OF MONEY," ) and the installation of the avocado shower cubicle...........suddenly bathing became a joyful daily  habit, rather than an expensive weekly event.
Having that strip wash at the sink last night, reminded me of all of those memories and just for a moment, i found myself being exceedingly grateful for being alive in an era where hot water is take very much for granted............mind you...... I never mentioned to Chris when I eventually came to bed  that I left my grotty, potato dirty feet out of my ablutions
I didn't quite have the dexterity to cock my feet up into the sink!



86 comments:

  1. We seem to have gone from the extreme of one bath a week and the idea that washing was a bit of a luxury, to frequent half-an-hour showers that use 25% of the water supply. I think we need to get back to a happy medium. After all, those of us who are office pen-pushers don't exactly get filthy dirty.

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    1. Or just a 60 second shower a day?

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  3. A bath before sex?! I can just imagine the glint in my granddad's eye whenever my gran got out the tin bath!

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    1. A bath was the 1960s version of the " come hither" expression

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  4. We are still living with the 'immersion heater bath', and I have been known to occasionally resort to baby wet wipes!

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    1. I try not to use the immersion Jane.... Mind you it's bust at the mo

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  5. Há! I had to laugh at this post. That photograph could easily be one of me, complete with sagging chest muscles and spare tyre!

    We have no running water here, our water comes out of the well I dug. Normally it is just a cold water sluice down but occasionally I take the chill off the water by boiling a pan and adding it to the bucket.

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    1. I will never complain about a strip wash ever again

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  6. Those were the days my friend. Everything in life back then was a major chore. Washing, cooking, cleaning and the list is always endless. Nowadays we have washing machines, food pre-ccoked, cut and peeled. Power showers and so on.
    And the children of today think you're working them too hard when you ask them to put their dirty clothes into the washing machine! beats me.

    John, you need to start doing some light exercises so you can reach those feet. Nothing kills the atmosphere like smelly feet :)

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    1. Lit exercises
      I need a new hip

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  7. how my whole family survived one very small bathroom, i will never know!

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    1. By not washing very often and having a pee in the back yard

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  8. Ah memories John - where would we be without them? Avocade suite - we had one here on the farm until three years ago!!! Bath in front of the fire before school next morning - most of my childhood. The idea of a bath or shower every day would have been anathema to my father who would have suggested it was bad for you! Imperial Leather - the smell of my childhood and I still use it now.
    Parcel of card will be posted on Thursday - can't get into town until then. You should receive it Friday morning - I'll send it first class.

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    1. Thank you pat
      Ah yes..... The memory of drying flannels in the bathroom... (All a different colour so you wouldn't get your own mixed up!)

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  9. In my childhood in 1990s, we had a water heating geyser thing at our home. I remember using hot water in summers and cold water in (mild) winters and everybody thinking I was awkward. It was India so the minimum it got in winters was around 5 degrees Celsius.

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    1. So have you never sampled the delights of a long hot bath KK?

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    2. No, I have. Many times. Just that I was kind of opposite to the climate mostly. And that since it was not as cold here, hot baths are not that exciting, at least for me. You need to come here once, preferably not in summer :-)

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  10. Our bathroom is tiny.... and we have 7 Summer guests all arriving together. It'll be hell.

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  11. I remember the hot water geyser over the bath at my grandparents' house. It terrified me. I was always convinced it was either going to collapse or explode....

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  12. I remember a teacher during a sex education lesson at school telling us it was not only cleaner but rather nice to have a bath before sex ... oh how we sniggered imagining him. To his credit his didn't redden up.

    Nothing like a cooling bath after a hot day in the garden.

    When we lived abroad we had a cold water pipe to shower. After a trip to the beach, I used to fill a baby bath by boiling kettles to add to the cold water & sit the kids & wash soapy water over them using a large cup even though they were way too big for a baby bath !

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    1. A man for sex education.....?
      How progressive

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  13. Light a fire for hot water? Extraordinary. Ok, that happened when I was a kid. My grandparents did not bathe or shower so often, but my parents did daily and made sure we did. Bit different here, I guess. Hotter and sweatier.

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    1. We can heat it electrically too andrew..
      Lol

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  14. My elderly mother-in-law has just been admitted to hospital after a fall. Nothing broken, luckily.
    On admission she was found to weigh only 5½ stone and seemed not to have had a shower for over two years.
    As she lives in a special apartment, designed for elderly and disabled residents, including a beautiful wet room, and has numerous staff and helpers calling on her, not to mention the attentions of her four children who constantly nag her to look after herself properly, it seems that "you can take a horse to water but you can't force it to eat or take a shower".
    She seems to have been surviving on a cold half of a ready meal one day, saving the other half for the next day, and taking "strip washes" to save on water. Which is included in her rent.
    Old age is so sad.

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    1. Sad but at least she was autonomous eh?

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  15. The irony of course is that such frequent cleansing probably isn't as good for our skin, depending upon how hard your water is. I assume that yours is soft? Ours is very soft here.

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    1. I don't look like a guy who moisturises do I?

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  16. Oh-um. And here I am having two showers a day for my entire adult life! Mind you, African weather is hot and muggy most of the time, so you take a bath/shower just to refresh yourself!

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    1. I will let you off then x

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  17. I at my school it was showers only for us pupils and I never really took to them.
    My preference was always and still is a long deep bath with lots of hot water and to keep topping up fairly frequently - that coupled with a long stay as it is a great place to unwind.

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    1. And a place to read!
      Locked bathrooms were the only place of privacy in a family house

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    2. How do you manage to keep the pages from going damp John ?

      Never had a problem with privacy being an only child & the parents kept their distance once I was old enough to be thorough in my ablutions.

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  18. We were staying with my MIL , I asked if anyone would like to use the bathroom as I was going to have a shower...she replied with the utmost disgust "But you had one YESTERDAY".
    Jane x

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  19. The female part of the family referred to it as a whore's bath. (When we had to tote the water up the hill and heat it on the kitchen stove.)
    Now we don't have a tub, just that *bleep" handicap shower and there are days when I would kill to sink into a tub.

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  20. I have a bath or shower at least twice a day. It's my reaction to growing up in a house with no bathroom and an outside cludgie.....

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  21. We're in the heart of suburbia but when a hurricane took out our power for seven days, and thus our well, I thought I'd lose my mind unless I could just wash my hands. (Never mind gathering snow to melt so we could flush the toilet).

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    1. Everyone's stories has humbled me slightly

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  22. Many people have not had the pleasure of doing without. It surely puts a kink in their tail when the luxuries are missing.

    The last power outage we had for an extended time, I placed a pipe in the waterfall of the creek and had a wonderful shower...cold water and all.

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    1. Very bo Derek.........in 10

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  23. I have a bath (or shower) every month whether I need one or not! :-)

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  24. Remember my grandmothers house where a bath was in a large galvanized tub in the middle of the kitchen floor by the stove. The loo? outside with an old catalog for "paper".
    BTW on what date do you need the home mades?

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    1. As soon as possible linda xxxxx show on the 1st sep xxxx

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  25. My childhood memories are of coming home from the beach and having Mom turn the hose on my sister and me to "wash off the salt". This was in Florida, and the outside water came from the well, complete with sulphur smell. Lovely! But I'm sure it beat getting sand and salt in our one bathroom....

    Nancy in Iowa

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    1. Today it would be called child abuse

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  26. We always took showers or baths daily. I preferred showers and still do.

    We had frequent power outages at the last location, and i'd use one of the solar showers i had for camping. The smaller one holds 3 litres, which isn't quite enough water for me. A gallon (US) or 4 litres made a world of difference. The larger solar shower holds 5 gallons (US). At my current location, we've got two ponds nearby where we can take a quick dip in summertime, and we also have the ocean. All offer great ways to cool off in summer and to wash off a goodly amount of the grime.

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    1. I think we are so lucky here.... Very few power cuts if any x

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  27. When we three children were young, the household not only shared one bathroom and a tub with no shower, but the wringer washing machine was in that room as well and shared the water supply. We are on well water here in the mountains....but, well heated with a gas heater. Nonetheless, water is precious in the area and so we try to conserve any way we can. When I feel that I would like to stay in the shower under the heated water forever, I am reminded that our President Eisenhower was famous for being able to strip, shower and towel dry in four minutes flat. So, if he could do it, I can do it too!

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    1. Thenstoriesnhere about water and it's use...I have absolutely loved .
      Thank you x

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  28. I used to share a bath with my gran at her house, every Friday night. Too much of a luxury to allow a bathtub full of hot water to be wasted on one person :)
    Aah, I loved those innocent times.
    ~Jo

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    1. Wouldn't be acceptable now.. Would it
      .

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  29. Every weekend the big tin bath would be hauled out and placed on a pad of newspapers in the folks bedroom. The water was heated on the wood stove and carried in one pail full at a time. Everyone had their own bath night. Once in a while we would visit the Grandparents in Aurora. They had a real bathroom and a water heater. Everyone took a bath before we went home.

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  30. We have the same problem and lighting the fire in this heat is hell. However, after your tale I will suffer it.

    My mum used to bathe me once a week in the kitchen sink until I grew too big. For all those years I used to pee in the water and pretend I was enjoying myself just swirling it around singing 'mix up the pudding-o'. I've still not told her what I was actually doing.

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    1. Em
      Glad we are not the onlyones

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  31. Occasionally the water supply fails...air in the pipes up on the mountain.
    Fine if you know in time to turn off the sheep's drinking water..not fine if you don't and only discover the problem when the loo cistern doesn't refill after flushing it.

    My grandmother's neighbour disliked bathes...goodness only what she'd have made of showers.
    Her motto was up as far as possible, down as far as possible and leave poor possible alone.

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  32. Great photo. When did you start getting your body waxed?

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    1. I admit I look kind of cute eh?

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  33. This is such a sweet post John. Reminded me of being a kid at home, where we had a bath once a week whether we wanted to or not, and in between we were lined up and then sat on the wooden draining board and washed at the sink. As an early teen I was a 'strip wash' girl but hated smelly old flannels so always had a clean one every day. I hate baths now and much prefer a shower....once a day and I'm in and out in less than a minute.

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    1. I think we are all of a that certain age eh?

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  34. Hey, our dad's went on the same child rearing course!

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  35. My mother called them "bird baths" where you stand at the sink. Later when she cared less what people thought she called them PTA baths for PU**Y, Tits and Ass. Oh how I miss her! And John, after being married 18 years, I don't always bother with my pony feet before bed either. If the hubs wants more than sleep he doesn't look at my feet anyway

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    1. A lovely and funny memory Donna.... You should blog about it.x

      Pusey, tits and ass
      X

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  36. Imperial Leather??? We could only afford Wright's Coal Tar. And that was only after selling a spare sibling.

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    1. My mother had delusions of grandeur

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  37. no little white basin to wash your tootsies in? the shame of it!!! :) when I was a kid the bar soap of choice was Ivory or Lifebuoy and the water was heated in a reservoir at the end of the wood stove, however, my Mom made me bathe every night and even with that my neck and heels were always black (according to my sister) :)

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    1. Life out...ah I remember that too

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  38. Yep we had 2 baths a week when we were kids - one on a Sunday - ready for school and one on Wednesday - a mid week clean; both accompanied with vinegar hair rinses to make our hair shine. Up to about 7 my sister and i used to share our baths and my younger sister and baby brother would share theirs. he smell of Wrights Cold Tar soap still takes me straight back to bath nights.

    I never remember us smelling as kids even after a day running around in the sun. maybe our noses just weren't as 'refined' as noses today. I do admit to loving my morning shower as it wakes me up - but that may be a reflection of my age (49) than anything else. i have to admit my man doesn't shower every day but that has never put me off him.

    what a wonderfully nostalgic post John. thanks xx

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    1. No.. Thanks to you all fellow bathers for fleshing it out so to speak

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  39. When I was a kid we heated water on the stove and took turns in the bath. The cleanest kid went first - usually me, the only girl. When I was a young adult with a kid of my own, we had a tin tub and heated water on the stove - my daughter actually has fond memories of that time.

    Now, it's a shower most days but a bird bath on the off days.

    And, you know, you can wash your feet in the loo... just sayin'!

    plufrompdx

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    1. Off to bed... Will try the loo thing

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  40. Another wonderful post with comments that have me smiling...am currently organizing a walk in short to replace the tub in Mom's house...will be safer for her and I won't have to crouch down in the tub to clean up...no bath for me...would be stuck in it forever with my bad ankles...nothing like putting on clean jammies after a well earned bath/shower...

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  41. I don't think I could function without my beautiful shower. I have a lot of sex.

    Love,
    Janie

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  42. And just because I thought this was one of those times when you could just hide under the table.
    A friend of mine, had just moved here from France in the early seventies, she was meeting her American in-laws for the first time..
    After a late evening meal, she promptly anounced she would like to be excused, as she was going to douche...
    It wasn't until many days later, that her new family discovered "THAT" word means to shower, in French :)
    Needless to say, they have never let her forget her faux pas.
    ~Jo

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  43. At least you knew how to use a bar of soap...
    Hehe.

    Happy Wednesday to you, John!

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  44. You had imperial leather!! luxury, bloody luxury

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    1. You still got your chickens john?

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  45. We had Imperial Leather too and it always amazed me how you were always left with the label at the end.

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  46. Being "off the grid" and the water pump being what uses most electricity, in summer you can have daily baths but in the short days of winter, washing is often done at the washbasin. I know exactly how it is done.

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  47. Judging from the picture, all those scotch eggs are not having too bad an effect on your body - apart from total removal of colour.

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