Tuesday, 2 November 2010


Parked outside Mark's Work Wearhouse with Whisky on my knees and at the steering wheel, reminded me of the time I was stopped at the lights at a major intersection and a pick-up truck crossed, with a very small kiddie sitting on the driver's lap. The child's hands were on the steering wheel, not the man's. (Probably using his phone).

Last night at Writers' Group, one person mentioned that people didn't have showers in their houses in the 1950s, they didn't come in until the sixties.

I don't remember them in Britain until the seventies. Oh, we had the blasted things at school all right. We didn't want to get our kit off and get into the showers, it was amazing how many girls had periods that lasted from one end of term to the other, the main excuse for not using them.
But at home, just baths and the plastic hairsprayer thingie whose rubber attachments fitted over the taps, and which perished after a certain time period.

In 1971, my parents took my sister and I to visit some friends of theirs in Denmark. They had been part of the ex-pat community with my parents in Nigeria.
Here we encountered several things that were about to become part of our lives, duvets, yoghurts and showers. The Danes in fact didn't like the idea of baths, they considered them unhygienic, because you were sitting in your own dirt. This didn't cut much ice with me, since we had done how detergents work in Chemistry or Physics or on TV or something, but I knew that the dirt particles all clustered around the detergent molecule, which held it safely away from the clean child.
Nonetheless, showers were on the way.

I'm not sure that our parents really believed that showers could get us properly clean. A shower was regarded as slightly better than an all-over wash with the flannel at the sink, but not as thoroughly cleansing of the adolescent scuzz as a proper bath, which was still required a couple of times a week, to get rid of the build-up of shower residue.
The proof of this was surely the tide mark around the bath, which must itself be scrubbed off. Evidence of cleanliness was the dirt left behind.

The other thing I learnt last night made my jaw drop. It seems that tickets to see Sarah Palin speak on 13th October cost $500.
I'm sure she was worth every penny.
AND...my nose just grew longer.


Anne said...

Another thing is that in the UK our water pressure is generally too low for a good shower without a motor... Ah, the seventies - your photograph reminds me of That's Life! Those were the days of dogs driving cars, and even talking - remember sausages?

Schneewittchen said...

I do indeed remember That's Life and the dog who said 'sausages!', sad to say, I sometimes still quote that dog.
And co-incidentally, cycling home last night, Kevin saw a dog actually sitting on a driver's lap whilst they were actually driving.