Baths and the art of Bathing in the UK

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Baths and the art of Bathing in the UK

Not Roman Baths, not swimming baths, but just Baths, the sort found in your (appropriately named) bathroom.
The notion of bathing or indeed washing frequently was once upon a time frowned upon; people believed that it would make you susceptible to disease. Oddly this belief seems to have been with us after the Romans left us their legacy of public baths. Perhaps the theory that the Romans suffered some kind of rampant infection thanks to their orgies and spurious sexual hygiene can explain the English subsequent caution in matters of the bath.
There are still some people that say that the Bath itself is unhygienic, what with that entire sitting in a stew of your own dirt. These people do not know how to bathe properly.

The Bath
Baths in this country tend to be a certain shape and size i.e not quite comfortable. I am not going to go into the different variations of bath as this article is about the act of bathing and it is not important whether your bath is porcelain, free standing, plastic, tin or wood, square, circular, corner, built for six to fit in, pink, white or marble. If it is big enough for you to be in a lying down position with your head above the water it is a bath.

Bath Preparation
This is where the opponents of baths get confused. You see Bath Preparation is a bit like a mini bath. One in which all the grime is removed and yes it could be said that you sit in the grime for a minute or two but it does not actually count as a Bath.
So, you half fill the bath with warm water. While this is running you can remove nail varnish / put on a face pack / trim nails and so on. Once the bath is run you can then get in and wash your body and hair. Some prefer to use a shower for this purpose and that is fine. Any shaving / hair removal needs to be done at this preparation stage as well.

The Bath
Wrap your hair in a towel to dry or tie it up so it is off your neck.
Empty the bath (rinsing out the bath as you do so) of this old dirty water and now re-fill it as high as possible (allowing space for yourself to get in) with hot scented water.

A couple of notes on this

Depth of water
It is important that you are utterly immersed in water up to your chin.

Scented water
There are a range of products; bubble baths, oils, milks, salts, gels. Use whatever you prefer just remember to be generous with your measures, better too many bubbles or too much oil than not enough. A Bath is an exercise in pleasure not stinginess.

A tricky one. It is important not to scald yourself or damage your skin but on the other hand the water has to stay hot for approximately one hour. Run it as hot as you can bear to sit in without feeling faint. If necessary you can top up the bath with hot water as the Bath progresses. NB: If you do this it may be necessary to add more bubbles / oil etc to the water.

You are now going to soak for about an hour. Because of the amount of time involved many people find that they need to take some form of distraction into the bath with them. Rubber ducks, toy boats, a playmate are all acceptable but may result in you getting over excited when the aim here is to RELAX. So something a little more appropriate may be a book or magazine. A magazine is better as it does not matter so much if it gets wet but do not attempt to do the crossword as trying to use a pen in a steamy atmosphere will only frustrate you. NB: When reading alternate the hand holding the material so that both hands / arms get a soaking.
A radio or CD player are not recommended due to the danger involved in combining electrics with water. A TV is not appropriate. It is just not Bath compatible.

Optional Extras
Ambient lighting in the form of candles (tacky yes but pleasant none-the-less), a small hand towel to use as a pillow, cup of tea, glass of wine.

After an hour of soaking in your bath you are ready to get out and begin the towelling off process. However, one last piece of body care should be done before letting the water out, while sitting on the side of the bath, use a pumice stone to rub off the dead skin on your feet.

A Quick Bath
Occasionally you may hear a Bather say they are going to have a Quick Bath as opposed to a Bath. A Quick Bath works almost the opposite way round from a Bath.
First run a fairly deep warm bath and soak in it for 10 minutes.
Second wash body / hair etc
Third shower down your body so no grime is left on your skin.

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