No one ever compliments me on my marathon bath-taking, or my skill at constructing the perfect bath.
Bathing isn’t as easy as everyone seems to think it is. It takes hours of hard work and planning, to pull off the perfect bath. Not to mention hours of reassuring your house-mates that you haven’t drowned. In short? if you’re in there for less than an hour? You’re doing it wrong.
Construction is also something of an art. You don’t just dump hot water in a people-sized container, and jump in.
I don’t like to brag, but I have years of experience in the field of bath-construction. To say the absolute least? I’m something of a master.
I think about baths like recipes. If I ever wrote a best seller, it would probably be called “101 Baths: An attempt at curing depression, and anxiety through bathing.”
(Or Lady Reginald and the Pirate King: The rogue’s dark seduction.)
(That one would probably be in a different section of the book-store, though.)
My 101 Baths book would have recipes like:
- The ‘Opps, Someone Forgot to Pay the Electricity Bill’ Bath
- The ‘I’m so itchy, I’m Probably Contagious’ Bath (For victims of mosquitos, or chicken-pox, rather than crabs. Because, Ew.)
- The ‘Anxiety Away’ Bath
- The ‘Tumultuous Tryst with a Romance Book’ Bath
And this one:
Summer Evening Serenity Bath
- Mixing Bowl
- Flower petals
- Oil Burner
- Rock Salt
- Scented Oil (light floral, or sweet summer fruit)
This bath is for when you’re hot and sweaty at the end of a scorching summer day. Indulge in the feeling of rose petals swirling around your feet.
You’ll need roughly 2-4 hours.
Main Ingredient: Go fossick out in your garden, until you have a large mixing bowl full of petals. Go for bright summer colours – like pink, yellow, or white, and reasonably large petals – to make clean-up easier.
I happen to have a huge number of wild climbing roses hidden in amongst our wild climbing weeds, and wild invasive shrubs and climbers.
If you do not have a garden of your own, simply go familiarise yourself with your neighbourhood. If you are challenged at any point about “what the hell you think you are doing on private property” respond that you need petals for your serene summer evening, and while the owner is contemplating how crazy/dangerous you are: Run Away.
Send a thank you note later. Without a return address.
Tip for experts: Wearing a bathrobe during this step may gain you a little extra running away time, as people are generally a little wary of approaching strangers wearing bathrobes on the street in broad daylight.
Temperature: Your bathwater should be luke-warm to medium-warm. Remember, this is a summer bath, and we’re not aiming to par-boil ourselves.
Scent: Add a couple of drops of a sweet summer fruit oil, or a light floral scent. I used Black Velvet Apricot oil, because every time I see the label I get that ‘Black Velvet’ song stuck in my head, and I quite like it.
Lighting: Summer is full of long, light evenings, and late fading sun, so take advantage of it. You should start your bath before twilight. Usually I’m all for candles, but you shouldn’t need any this time. Instead leave a low-watt light bulb. Don’t let the room get too dark at any point, because we’re not aiming for sleepy.
Trust me, cleaning up the mess of petals is not going to leave you feeling serene if you’re tired. It will leave you feeling cranky.
– Bring a bottle of water with you – maybe even squeeze a little lime juice into it. Otherwise you’ll be in a ‘water, water everywhere, yet not a drop to drink’ situation. And that’s not fun.
– Have your sieve on hand to extract all the petals BEFORE you pull the plug. Your landlord is not going to buy the ‘accidental drain clog’ story when he finds 500 pink rose petals jammed into the piping.
– Don’t take in any serious reading material. Instead take in something creative – like a writing pad – or use the time to indulge in a little meditation. Alternatively, use the time to paint your nails an ‘inappropriate for the office’ colour. Like highlighter blue.
– Leave as many windows open as possible, in the hopes of attracting a light summer breeze – without also attracting a peeping tom.
– Finally, just before you jump in, grab a big handful of rock salt, and season your bath to taste. Literally. I love bathing in salty water. It feels restorative, and makes me think of the ocean. But without the fishy aftertaste.