Monday 3rd October
A bath or a shower, that is the question, and maybe you are wondering, dear reader, whether Catherine has gone completely off her rocker this time. Growing up it was always a bath; we did not have a shower at the house in Putney. Actually we did once have a grey rubber hose contraption that you had to fit over the bath taps, and try to hold over your head. This was meant to be for washing your hair, but it was completely impractical, firstly, as you had to hold it with one hand this only left one hand free, and trying to undo the shampoo bottle, squeeze a little shampoo onto your hair, replace the cap and the shampoo bottle and then wash your hair with one hand, was a feat I could never master, and secondly it was impossible to control the temperature; the slightest increase in either hot or cold resulted in a blast of icy water or a scalding. After only a few attempts I returned to washing my hair in the bath, and rinsing it thoroughly with a green plastic jug in the sink. I noticed soon after that the wretched thing was hanging behind the bathroom door gathering dust, and eventually it disappeared. The strange thing was that the green jug never did get replaced in all the years I was at Putney, the same green lime-scale stained old jug remained. I know this because I discovered it when I was last at my mothers’, there in her untidy bathroom by the sink was the same wretched, by now more than fifty year-old, green jug. I am sorely tempted to buy her a replacement for Christmas, though what a tawdry present that would be.
The other thing about the bath at Putney, was that you were only supposed to fill it with about three, or maybe if you were brave four inches of water. “That’s plenty of hot water Catherine; I never have my bath any deeper than that.” As soon as I moved out I took great pleasure and have done ever since in luxuriating in a bath filled almost to the brim, testing out Archimedes theory to its’ limit as the water laps gingerly at the edges of my elegant roll-top bath. But I also love a shower, now that I at last have one; I love that feeling of being pelted with a hard stream of very hot water, little darts of water hitting your skin, and the top of your head. There is nothing quite as invigorating, and so speedy if time is short, you can literally shower and towel dry your hair in the time it takes to draw a bath. So, I have never quite resolved the question, a shower or a bath? And even now, when I have all the time in the world, I tend to shower daily and take a long leisurely bath on a Sunday evening, as if preparing for the week ahead.
So the answer is of course both, though I am sure that I could manage with only one quite happily if push came to shove.