As some of you know and others among you may have heard, we’re having a bit of a heat wave here in our bit of Britain – and I’m loving it. I especially love taking two warm showers per day, one in the morning and another in the early evening, instead of the usual one hot one first thing. Cool water jetting on sun-warmed skin is incredibly sexy!
Showers and bathing and bathrooms in general seem to have achieved a significant place in my awareness, actually. Not sure when that happened. My first thought was that it started during the worst of my badly injured and in constant terrible pain while I worked to recover mobility years, because being immersed in hot water was the loveliest pain relief for my damaged muscles back then. But it goes back farther than that.
Of all the dozens of places where I’ve lived, my favourite bathroom was in Gibraltar. Our Royal Navy married quarter, with its balcony overlooking a quiet backwater marina, was elegantly colonial and a peaceful haven in my hectic life. The bathroom was fifteen foot square and fully tiled in shining white. It had sparkling porcelain, a big deep bathtub, two tall alabaster nude figures, towers of climbing greenery on the floor of blue marley, long mirrors, and a whispering choir of church candles.
We kept the shuttered windows thrown wide open most of the time, unless a storm was coming, and our bathroom soundtrack included wind harmonics, water lapping at yacht hulls, wire-rigging tapping out random messages on steel masts, and rubber fenders grinding against the old wooden jetties. It was beautiful.
At the other end of the scale, my worst bathroom experience lasted the whole three years I spent trundling around the Arctic Ocean on a leaky old rust bucket. We were freezing cold the whole time and couldn’t run the generators for more than a few minutes each day, so our daily shower time was always very brief and crowded. Shudder. Hey, maybe that’s when it started.
While writing this post I’ve realised that my preoccupation with bathing has filtered into my writing. Nearly all of my books have significant scenes taking place while characters are bathing. Whodathunk it’s all about the dunkin?
How about you? Got any bathroom preferences? Any unexpected themes running through the books you write or like to read?