I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
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* One exception: short stories.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Bathroom and kitchen

Neither VR nor I do showers much, preferring baths instead. Is this to horrify our North American acquaintances? Partly, but mainly to read under relaxed circumstances. Hygiene is incidental. Our baths may endure a full hour

Most bathrooms have central lighting unsuitable for reading. With money to burn I had spotlights fitted; the angle was wrong because of cramped ceiling space over the head of the bath. Later, downlights but they shed light vertically. My baths became shorter. Occasionally I even contemplated the cocoanut-flavoured soap.

The answer has been to mount four LED units (a mere half a watt each) low down on the wall behind the bath, each pair in effect bracketing my head. Last night I went the full hour and finished Master And Commander. Tonight I may take my dinner up with me. Think of baths as mature education, think of showers as wasted opportunity.

RECENTLY I hypothesised with VR a need to make a beef curry without guidance. I would guess the steps involved and see how far I got.

"First I'd quickly sear the chunks of stewing beef."

She shook her head. "First you'd cut the chunks into smaller chunks."

Oh hell. But she allowed me to continue.

I can't remember what I suggested but it wasn't frying the spices as it should have been. I reflected.

Cooking is misunderstood. Following a recipe isn't cooking as such. Any fool prepared to suffer a few false starts can do that. Real cooking consists of learning a large number of sub-techniques and combining them to arrive at say a beef curry. A list of ingredients may help refine the end dish but that’s all. Anything else is culinary Meccano. Conclusion: I haven’t sufficient time available. Blogging must suffice


  1. I think you are quite right that N Americans prefer the shower, but I grew up in a house of Scots who always used the tub. I think they were suspicious of the shower....they might have thought it wasteful, in any case it's use was prohibited. I am a fan of the tub: ah, let's fill to the brim with lovely hot water and have a nice rest. We have two tiled and glassed showers at the cottage, kitted out with expensive hardware.......the bloody things have to be squeegied and wiped down after each use to stay good looking. It's like washing your car every time you take it round the block.
    Never abandon the kitchen!

  2. We don't really have a working bath as such but I always enjoy one when staying in places that have them. In the old days showers were rubbish anyway, insufficient pressure, hopeless h/c mixing.

    Such is the on-line cult following, and consequent recherché merchandising, of the Aubrey-Maturin books that there must surely exist small replica ships with which you might enact the significant moments in M&C, and others in the series, while reading them in the bath... I shall initiate a search.

  3. Stella: It's not just a matter of preference; some residents of the Keystone State are paranoid about baths, saying it's equivalent to stewing in one's own juices. In manly literature, I read of heroic US private eyes spending a quarter of an hour under a shower. Doing what? I ask. An answer to this is provided by Kevin Spacey in the movie American Beauty. No doubt that's unhealthy too.

    Lucy: A non-working bath - I'm hard put to imagine that. I take it you mean a sort of ceramic cat-tray, too small even if the foetal position is adopted.

    We do have a super-dooper shower devoid of any of those failings. I have tried covering O'Brian novels in transparent plastic and reading them that way but it demands great application.

    I am guilty of buying Aubrey-Maturin related products, notably a huge picture book called Patrick O'Brian's Navy. I flicked through it, knowing I'd swindled myself, and it has finally found a role in life - raising the height of the computer monitor. The mini-ship idea is excellent. I take it by now you have encountered the Cacafuego and experienced Hart's Revenge.

  4. My daughter lives in Australia, the land of the ubiqitous shower. We hated that aspect - much prefering baths. (although I draw the line at dining there!)

  5. Given a choice, I'm all for a bath. You can imagine the heaven I was living in whilst in southern Japan. The hot springs there took bathing to a whole new level! When the trays carrying tiny Saké cups were delicately floated towards us, I was almost overcome with ripples of pleasure. But here in the Midwest, I fell into regular showering for 2 reasons: the sides of the tub aren't high enough for a proper soak and the massage showerheads are quite nice! But my broken leg has me taking baths again, which is one of those good results of the break.

    It's really all about the soap for me, anyway.

  6. Avus: "Hated" - that's extreme. One thing about showers is you can have half a dozen a day. But these are purely functional events: a way of getting clean (to which I have, I fear, a wayward attitude) or getting cool. Baths are a sort of hobby offering several variants. Why draw the line at eating there? - so kneejerk! Some people even make love there but not I; etiquette would surely demand I got the taps. They may be an aspect of plumbing technology but my interest does have limits.

    RW (zS): Communal bathing is something else; doesn't quiet contemplation go out of the window? But floating trays of saké are a worthwhile invention.

    You become rather gnomic towards the end of your comment.