When I was sorting through some things recently, part of making space for my new nest in The Buttery, I found this delightful set of Japanese postcards. I can’t remember where or when I bought them. But I do know that I have had them for a long time. There is no question of my actually using them as postcards – they are too nice to do anything with other than look at!
….whether I need it or not.”
Who do you think said this? I have long been aware of the saying, but have usually heard it in comedic contexts. In fact, it appears that it was Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I who spoke in all seriousness about her regular bathing habit. In Tudor England, the majority of people either could not afford hot water for bathing, or were fearful that communal baths might be responsible for the transmission of the plague.
Of course, the concept of bathing goes back much further than the sixteenth century. Here is a potted history of bathing. This site highlights the prowess of the Greeks and Romans in building elaborate bath houses. One of the most famous and best preserved Roman baths in the UK, and indeed in the world, are the wonderful Roman Baths in the City of Bath.