Armed Forces / Family & Friends / London / Property / Renting

Bath Time Blues

One thing I won’t miss about the Weaver’s Cottage is the bath. It’s enormous. I’m not the mightiest of men (at 5’ 5.5” and shrinking in my socked feet) so it’s like lying in a flotation tank. I have to grip the tap with my toes to stop myself from going under. At 6′, Liam fares a little better, but not much. Thankfully, our new gaff has a bath of standard dimensions. I’m looking forward to giving the shower a miss messing about in the bubbly hot tub, glass of chilled white in one hand and a copy of ‘The Week’ in the other. Fabulous.

Mind you, I didn’t always covet bath time with such decadent relish. As a child of the Sixties and the youngest of four (until my sister accidentally came along and usurped my position as baby of the family), I was last in line for the soak and sponge. Back in the day, we lived in the married quarters of the former Royal Army Medical College along Millbank next to Tate Britain in central London. Accommodation was strictly army-issue utilitarian, no central heating and only rudimentary hot water. Like families up and down the realm, Sunday night was bath night in the Scott household and we all took turns for a scrub. It was done in chronological order so by the time I climbed into the bath, the water was tepid and covered in an oil slick. Disgusting really. These days it would be considered child abuse. But then we’re talking about the era before deodorant, when men were men and pits were ripe. The Sixties stank as well as swung.

The Medical College closed in the Seventies and the buildings now form part of the London University of the Arts. It’s a sign of the times and one I rather approve of.  This was our billet:

Chelsea Schoolof Art

The parade ground once had a small children’s playground on the right of the image and that’s where I did my swinging while my father counted beans in the offices on the far side. I’ve passed the building many times in recent years. In fact, Liam and I got hitched just round the corner in the Sky Lounge in what was the City Inn Hotel.  It’s the Hilton now. You see, nothing stands still and in my book that’s a good thing.

11 thoughts on “Bath Time Blues

  1. Ha ha. I keep being amazed how Saturday night baths the world over (it seems) used to be that one night a week whether you needed it or not. At our house three kids went into the tub at once and the water was dishwater gray when they came out. One was a baby so she didn’t go in and I was the oldest and got into the tub first. This is hilarious. This memory was all but forgotten until this post. :-D :-D :-D

  2. Yes indeed. baths and hairwashing – the bane of my existence. 1970s – hairwashing was an awful activity involving jugs of water, the last being ice-cold to make your hair shine (my elder sister pouring that cold water down my back). Tugging a brush through tangled hair usually produced tears. The only nice this was being allowed to sit by the fire to dry your hair. Funny you should mention this today, though, Jack, I was just thinking about what bliss it is to have a shower!

    • God, I remember that jug. My best friend at school in the 70s didn’t have a bathroom at all, just a tin bath in the kitchen. I kid you not. We’re still friends. He now lives in a Victorian town house in Islington. How the poor have risen! :-D

  3. . . count yourself bloody priviliged Jack – my bath was in the kitchen sink or a ‘lick and a promise’ when mother spat on her hanky and scrubbed my face and other bits!

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