As a consequence of living in an advanced, civilised, well-educated Western society, I am treated, most Saturday nights, to a fitful stream of drunken half-wits passing my house whilst emitting various screaming, yelling, shrieking, and, what can only be described, onomatopoeiacally, as 'urking' sounds. Particularly to be admired here are the groups of long-legged young women, whose approach is presaged by the equine cloppity-clop of high-heels on pavement, and whose dreams are, no-doubt, filled with thoughts of emulating Harlotte Church and Sarah Cox.
Of course, to ensure that nobody engages in binge-drinking anymore, we now have very late opening hours, and this means that I generally can't get to sleep for the noise between 12am and 3:30am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. In response I have developed a set routine: Watch 'Match of the Day', have a bath between midnight and 1am, log-on to the Sunday Times website and see what's in tomorrow's paper, and finally, listen to Dave Aldridge's film review on Radio 5 between 2:30am and 3:30am. And strangely, I have begun to look forward to this part of a Saturday. Particularly the bath.
I've never understood why people take showers. A shower is just such a stressful experience: the water hammering against the wrong parts of your body, flooding down your face into your eyes and ears, the water always at the wrong temperature, the soap or shampoo going missing, the water leaking out the door of the cabinet. Sure, a shower cleans you, but it's not an enjoyable experience. Contrast that with the luxurious experience of a long, hot, relaxing soak in the bath. A bath is to a cup of tea what a shower is to a cup of coffee. You can read a good book as the heat diffuses through your tired limbs, or just shut your eyes, and let the alpha waves ripple gently across your brain as the visual cortex idles. And the urking just melts away.