Sylvia Plath’s Esther from The Bell Jar was a fan of a hot bath. And what’s not to love? This quote makes me want to reach for the bath oil, and head off for a long soak.
There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.
The next paragraph in the book reads: “Whenever I’m sad I’m going to die, or so nervous I can’t sleep, or in love with somebody I won’t be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say: ‘I’ll go take a hot bath.’
I think this is where I went wrong in my 20s. I owned a flat without a bath! No long, contemplative, relaxed, soaks for me. From the age of about 21 until 28, all I had was a shower. Functional, adequate, but soothing? Healing? Relaxing? No!
Yes, we can stand in the shower and contemplate world peace, or pretend we’re accepting an Oscar for Best Screenplay (or is that just me?), but there’s only really so long we can do it for.
We don’t have shower-time rituals do we?
Before we step in the shower, what do we check? Shower cap on, towel on the rail, shower gel in the shower? That’s it.
But before a bath? Ooft, I have a huge routine! Ipad? Check. Cup of tea (or glass of wine)? Check. Fancy bath oil? Check. Snack of choice? Check. Candles? Check.
Stupidly, in my mid-30s, I decided to get rid of my bath in the bathroom of the second flat I owned, and replace it with a shower.
I vowed after that it was the last time I would be without a bath, and as we contemplate moving house again, for the first time in seven years, a bath is high on the musthave list!