We’ve recently been away for the weekend, and it wasn’t a difficult decision to relax my self-imposed bucket bath campaign for the duration. (See here for the background story.)
To turn on the tap and have hot water pouring out in abundance was simply divine.
A brief doubt flickered through my mind as I reminded myself that the house relied on tank water. My response: “Never mind, it’s been raining all weekend!”
So, I made the most of these showering opportunities. They were a stark contrast with the never-enough-water-left-to-wash-everything situation I’ve been facing these last few weeks with my bucket-bathing, especially when it’s a day to wash my hair as well. My feet have been sorely neglected, which is OK now, but wait for summer.
While we were away I also indulged in reading a historical romance novel – set in the time of Queen Elizabeth I (during the sixteenth century).
Reading this book made me wonder what Queens, Kings and other nobility would have done to wash. I can imagine that it was sitting in a hot tub with the luxury of a servant standing behind dousing you with pitchers of water.
When looking at these two groups, it’s clear that those of us in modern developed countries have most in common with the nobility of old. Instead of a servant at our beck and call in bathroom matters, we’ve bent copper and aluminium to service our liquid needs.
At the turn of a handle we’ve got pure clean water, easily adjusted to the right temperature, pouring over us. And none of this pitcher at a time business – we’ve got our pouring water for as long as we like. It is lavish and decadent beyond what the poor and even nobility in the old days could have imagined.
While the upper classes of old would have had a pretty good bathing experience, can you imagine the expressions of wide-eyed wonder on their faces if they had seen a bathroom like yours or mine?
It’s a reminder to me about how much has changed in our world. Today there are hundreds of millions of people living at a standard greater than the Kings and Queens of yesteryear, and there are billions more who aspire to. But the question is: how many Kings and Queens can our world sustain?