Friday, November 9, 2007

Personal Hygiene

I am so happy to be living in the 21st Century. One of my favorite amenities has got to be running hot water. I just don’t feel like human being when I have not had my shower. It always reminds me of that movie starring Joaquin Phoenix 'Buffalo Soldiers'. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”it said. This could be my motto. Personal hygiene ranks top in my household and I would have hated to live during the times of the Roman Empire or in medieval times even.

I am so happy to live in the here and now. I get up in the morning and step onto heated tiles in our bathroom before getting into the shower. Warm water is a delight. No washing my face or delicate bits with cold water using a washbowl or having to heat buckets of water, emptying one after the other into a wooden tub.

When I was little I remember my grandparents living in a really old house. Their bathroom was always cold. It had one of these ovens that would heat the water but you would have to make a fire first. About an hour later you were good to go and either take a shower or have a bath. I remember my grandpa being allowed to have a bath first. Then my grandma. By the time I got a go the water in the boiler had cooled down already. Oh how I hated it.

Some of the following historical facts about personal hygiene that would have me running:

1. Regular bathing was characteristic during the times of the Roman Empire ( I am with you on that)

2. Bathhouses were constructed and used widely (gross – sharing a bath eeeww)

3. People emptied their chamber pots out onto the streets. (watch your step)

4. In many houses the toilets could be found in the kitchen (sorry I just threw up in my mouth a little)

5. This happened in medieval times also during the Roman empire.

6. Soap was made from lard and ashes. (must have smelt like violets and roses)

7. Sweat and dirt was being scraped off with pumice stone or sponges (sounds rather painful)

8. Bathhouses closed down due to the risk of infection when the plague spread through Europe.

9. In medieval times taking a bath was considered unhealthy.

(I'm convinced the stench would have killed me)

10. This lead to even more disease and vermin.

11. Hair was bleached, crimped or dyed. (nothing new here)

12. Wigs were the height of fashion. Not very hygienic as they were hard to keep clean and lice and other vermin had a feast on your head. Instead of treating that you used a stick to itch wherever the little suckers bit you.

13. Bodies were oiled and powdered instead of washed. (that would’ve been it for me. I would’ve been outta there)

14. Faces were painted with wheat flour or white lead (ehemm healthy)

As I said. I am a happy camper if only I have a clean bathroom and a hot shower.


Mags said...

Are you my sister? Seriously-we think alike often. :) I love hot water too-it's so wonderful and when I had to live without it for a couple of weeks (no money for oil) I was so sad. I had to boil water on the stove and put it into the tub to take a bath, and by the time I had enough water it was already cold. :(

Hot showers=Heaven

Jennifer said...

I often think I would never have survived being born back in the days before the modern conveniences. I'm so spoiled.

J said...

ewww. I wonder how it feels to powder and oil myself everyday without washing. I won't try that though!

Jules said...

No matter how clean a public bathroom is (though most of them are not), I always gag. It's horrible... so I agree with this whole post! I wish I had warming coils in my bathroom floor so the tiles were warm! THAT sounds amazing!
House of Jules

Valley Girl said...

Dude! I am so with you. I mean, even if I was a queen in medievil times, I don't know if I'd be able to hang.

Pocklock said...

I am SO jealous of your heated tiles! I jump from bathmat to bathmat in the morning to avoid my piggies freezing!

Melisa said...

I know what you mean, Kat! I have been known to shower several times a day: especially on the days when I teach a fitness class or two. I normally have to shower IMMEDIATELY. I also hate the way my hair feels when it's dirty. Ick.

I would ALSO love some heated tiles in the bathroom! Think of all of us who suffer with cold floors tomorrow morning! :)

FRIGGA said...

That's almost the only thing that makes me want to live back in the day... I'm so completely with you on the whole personal hygene issue ;-0