The wife and I were talking today as I got ready for a bath, and for some reason that set me thinking of baths of another time. My mind was cast back to when I was very young and WWII was still in its infancy.
I was drawn back to a houseful of people, kids mostly. This situation was created that way as a result of being evacuated. Groups of families were being made to fit into whatever accommodation was available. Our small two & a half bedroom house had a total of seven children and five adults. As a child it never occurred to me that if the kids occupy the beds, where did the adults sleep? Of course children didn’t think of such things at that age.
The bathtubs of those days were the iron porcelain glaze type with legs on them. They always seemed to look more grey than white, with the perpetual rust stain that seemed to come with every tub. Looking back I chuckle; for at times, when the tub got filled with the water from the tap, the water often looked almost as if someone had used it already. I don’t know if this was the effect of the colour of the water, or if it just looked that way because of the grayish tone of the bathtub.
I was certainly reminded of five children to a bed, and us kids getting bathed, all three brothers in the tub at the same time. The water was heated mostly by pots being boiled on the gas stove, you get the picture.
There were days during the cold winter months when mom gave us a farmers bath. We would take turns standing in a large basin set on a hand pegged rug in front of the open coal fire. Because it was so cold and damp upstairs in the rooms, we used to pull our clothes into the bed to warm them before we could get dressed.
There’s something to be said about getting older; for with memories like these, one never forgets what life used to be like and I’m thankful for that.
I headed for the bathroom, thinking twice about pulling the wife's leg and asking where’s my rubber ducky!