It has always been the intention of Idle Blogs to provide sanctuary from the partisan politics and vitriol of Twitter, until now. It is time to embrace the pressing issues of our age. The fabric of society is threadbare, which might be due to globalisation, Trump, the EU or daylight savings. So who needs a new rift? But it’s here nonetheless. After all, it was only the other week that MP Tim Loughton – the co-chair of all-party parliamentary group on Mindfulness – admitted to spending up to an hour in the bath each morning.

There are many issues with Tim Loughton’s statement, the most striking of which is the existence of a parliamentary Mindfulness group. I’d ask for how long it’s existed, but if it’s effective they’ll have no idea. However, there are few national institutions that currently look more in need for restorative mediation. I’d like to be on the all-party parliamentary group on real ales, good chats and afternoon naps, which one suspects is mindfulness.

Anyway, I thought the morning bath went out of fashion with Roman emporers and admittedly my sister, who spends an hour in a morning bath while the rest of her family hop about with crossed legs outside the door. She sails out an hour later with the purpose of a ship finding momentum on the slipway to its maiden voyage. Surely in a world that requires mobile coffees and hands-free phones we don’t have time for baths in the morning do we?

My sister, and presumably Tim Loughton, would argue that it’s a peaceful way to begin the day, even with concerned family outside knocking ensuring you’ve not drowned, although I’d argue another hour in bed is more tranquil. It’s certainly more relaxing than a shower at Bates Motel.

Of course the shower is the epitome of modern living. Easy access, efficient with water, refreshing and clean; all it lacks is wi-fi, unlike the bath. Perhaps Tim Loughton is checking his emails. Gone are the days of bathing being a public ritual – when the family sat around the tub, smoking pipes and playing whist while you crouched ankle deep in water better suited to tarring fisherman huts than cleansing.

We’re urged to save water, which in our climate feels like Saharans being asked to save sand. Save water? I spend half my life standing in it and the other half under it. A shower is basically inviting rain into your own house, although baths might be accused of being a puddle, albeit topped with a foot of bubbles and lost soap dissolving before you have time to use it. Each to their own, if that’s still allowed, but if the hour in the morning seems too languorous to kick start the day then why not have it in the evening.

My debut novel, The Life Assistance Agency – selected by WHSmith Fresh Talent 2017 –  is available here – http://myBook.to/lifeassistance . It features a great deal of music.

and here

http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-life-assistance-agency,thomas-hocknell-9781911129035

and on ebook here –