Saturday, December 30, 2006

Taking a bath

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.

10 comments:

clare said...

My sympathies on the racket. I know what that's like - we used to live in a flat in Croydon where the people below us had parties which started at 11pm each Saturday night. It is hard to get used to.

I was once asked what I do to relax and when I answered 'take a bath' the man who asked it couldn't understand my response - last thing he'd do, apparently...different strokes for different folks, I suppose. However I do value the shower too - for waking me up. Not pleasant, I agree, but useful in its way.

Gordon McCabe said...

Have you seen 'Peep Show' Clare? It's filmed almost entirely in Croydon, in a real Croydon flat!

clare said...

No - but thanks - I shall look out for that. No doubt it will bring back memories.

Andrew said...

"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."

Not to mention the psycho with the knife that keeps intruding. Must remember to lock bathroom door in future.

Gordon McCabe said...

Andrew! Good to hear from you! Looks like I'm really piggybacking on The Yard's blog now, given that he's holidaying with an Amish community, or something.

And yes: Always lock the bathroom door.

Andrew said...

We were always too good for Appleyard, Gordon. The Amishes are welcome to him. I even tried starting a blog a while back, but due no doubt to my being ahead of my time, I couldn't find my way back into it. Either that or being a technical idiot of the highest calibre failed me again. So it has a strange lonely existence raising interesting philosophical questions asuch as what is a blog if there is noone there to see it. I think Berkeley decided that the unobserved existed because of God's observation of it, though in the case of my blog I must surely take the position of God, and hence what kind of godforsaken existence does the poor thing have? I couldn't resist the godforsaken bit.

Gordon McCabe said...

So a bit like those 'universe creation in a laboratory' scenarios in physics, where the created universe disappears inside a black hole, and the creator is unable to interact with his creation.

Andrew said...

That could be it, Gordon. Though with my poor blog there is at least the possiblity its creator, being me, will reestablish contact and breathe frsh air into its stagnant life. Though perhaps this very uncertainty and vague hopes of resurrection makes it all the worse. Then again, maybe it(the blog) couldn't give a shit.
I love the idea of the laboratory created universe having the ungratefulness to disappear into a black hole, btw.

Andrew said...

Actually, I think I may have experienced a Eureka moment regarding baths and a healthier environment. Don't throw out your bath water after use. Instead you can filter it through one of those water filters pepole sometimes use for drinking water. And when a bath is desired simply use your microwave to heat to desired temperature. This admittedly may take a while but re-cycling is the name of the game afer all. The less fussy could dispense with the filering stage.

elberry said...

A good way to deterring drunken revelry is to park your black BMV by your house and keep rummaging around in the boot, shooting occasional, guilty looks over your shoulder. Give any passing girls a cold, clinical look, then slowly lick your lips and say, clearly, "More fresh meat for daddy McCabe."

Or you could do what i considered doing with my Pikey drug dealer neighbours in Leeds: get some cans of baked beans and wait for the troublemakers to stagger drunkedly home, whereupon you throw the can full strength at their foreheads. You can tell the cops you thought they looked thin and you were only trying to help them eat proper. There are few weapons more deadly than a well-aimed can of baked beans.