Things of Winter Beauty and Wonder: Advent Day Three

(Note: In the light of the government decisions to bomb Syrian targets, I wondered whether I should stop doing these daily posts. They seemed trivial. But after much thought, reflecting on my part in the world and my own lack of power, I decided that to post pieces about the good things I am thankful for, and the beauty that exists in the world around me, was one of the ways I can contribute to comfort and support those who read me. There’s a Chinese proverb: better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. This blog is my candle.)

Being clean.

We take it for granted, the chance to be clean and fresh each day. Most of us start the day with a quick shower, or at the very least, a comprehensive wash. The long hot soak in a tub after a hard day is a huge pleasure. Our first house as a married couple had an unheated bathroom, with a bath but no shower; baths were tricky to negotiate in the depths of winter because there came a point when you had to emerge from the swiftly cooling water into a room that would soon hover only a few degrees above freezing (we lived in the north east. Think Winterfell with pits and ports). We put in a special light bulb that gave off some warmth, but I learned to dread winter. The house we moved to after that had bath, shower AND central heating of sorts, and felt like a massive move up in the world.

I’ve written before of the power of water to wash away more than physical dirt, and being able to step into a shower is a privilege and a pleasure. To smell fresh and clean every morning, to face the day feeling refreshed and ready is a great and often under-rated joy.

13 thoughts on “Things of Winter Beauty and Wonder: Advent Day Three

  1. Viv, life goes on, and your opening paragraph says it all. I was told off for ‘posting all my stupid astrology and book stuff’ only 3 days after the Paris attacks, by one Twitterer. I suggested that he if he didn’t like what I posted he either unfollow or block me, and indeed he could have just done so in the first place, instead of being so rude. He lived in Italy; I wonder if he would have been so against it if the attacks had happened in some far away African country. Probably wouldn’t have taken much notice.

    As for a bath with no heating… I was born in the late 1950s, so grew up in a time when people just didn’t have central heating; the freezing cold bathroom and bedroom was the norm. What I did consider hardship (but got used to) was in the mid 80s when my husband and I had a shop and lived over it – in a flat that was not only unheated throughout (open fire in living room), but had NO INSIDE LOO. We used to break the ice on the outside one before we could go, in the winter. Having said that, I appreciated an inside loo more than I have ever appreciated anything, once we got it! I quite enjoy battling on against hardship… I’ve always rather fancied living in Winterfell, so much that on Facebook my name is Terry Stark 🙂

    ps, the posts are great 🙂


  2. Thank you for lighting this candle and every candle you are lighting during Advent. I needed to see some light and feel some warmth, given not only Syria but also another mass killing in the US, my homeland.


  3. Receiving a Pranic Healing the night before, I was advised not to shower or bathe for at least 24 hours. That meant I couldn’t swim my 36 laps, nor wash up until nightfall the next day.

    Instead of exercising by swimming, I walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes, taking off my sandals and foot-stepping barefoot with just socks on.

    It hurt.

    It hurt a lot more when I started walking away from the machine.

    It hurt really bad at night and I went to bed without showering.

    Today, I feel a lot better and I can’t wait to jump into the pool for a refreshing wake-up and a casual shower to rid myself of what ever “dis”-ease has accumulated.

    Thanks for your thoughts. Even though they can be quite chilling at times!

    Michael J, from the States


  4. Thankyou for your Advent candles, and the reminder not to rage against the darkness.
    (And for bringing back the memory of The Bathroom Dash: we used to switch on all the rings on the gas cooker to try and heat that space! xxx)


  5. Your post reminds me that we are whole beings. Not as the Ancient Greeks thought, composed of a ‘pure’ spirit shackled to mundane flesh. What we do with our bodies has effects on mind and soul as well (and vice-versa as well, I suppose). It’s not possible to measure that connection but sometimes you feel it. As with a good hot shower!

    Your post put me in mind of the Hobbits – ‘Sing hey, for the bath at the close of day, that washes the weary mud away, a loon is he who will not sing, O water hot is a noble thing!’ (or something like that). In a dark time, they could still be cheered by something as simple as the blessing of hot water!

    Keep those candles burning.


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