Tuesday, May 15, 2007

strife of bath

Father Patrick seemed to appear from nowhere and I was unable to make my escape before he caught me. ‘Ah Rilly, my child’ he said ‘I wondered if I could have a word’ I knew what was coming. ‘Look, if it’s about the pew and the confessional door incident, that was Mrs Arkwright, I swear’. ‘It’s about the holy water Rilly’. 'Oh', I sighed. ‘Traditionally, the church’s allocation has always been one immersion per child per lifetime. Is there some kind of problem at home my dear?’ I told the children to hurry up and get dried off. I suppose it was only a matter of time before my use of the font for post-babtismal ablutions was spotted. ‘We haven’t got a bathroom’ I said. 'The builders are four weeks behind.' ‘I’d love to help, really, Rilly’, said the priest, ‘but there’s only so much holy water available, global warming you know, and you're using so much the church is having to tanker it in from Rome’. ‘But how did you know?’ I asked. Father Patrick smiled. ‘The lord moves in mysterious ways my child’, he said. ‘You left this by the way’ he said and handed me a rubber duck. ‘And I believe this is your’s too’. He held out a tube of veet. ‘It’s not mine' he said,' and Father Connor insists he never squeezes his in the middle’. 'Well', I sighed as we left, 'so much for helping the needy!'

A rough looking man in an apron stood behind the counter. ‘I need a baarth’ I told him. The man stared at me blankly. 'You do sell baarths don’t you?’ I was irritated with him already. Northern and trade, the very worst combination. ‘I can do you four candles pet’, he proffered, grinning. I sighed. ‘This a baarthrum shop, is it not?!’ I snapped. ‘That is what its says on the sign’. ‘Hmm, well, we got the work experience lad to do the sign didn’t we. The school's don’t teach ‘em to spell owt anymore', he sighed. Another man appeared behind the counter. Words were exchanged between them. ‘Oohhh, you want a bath, why didn’t you say so pet?' With that he led me towards the display area. ‘Here’s a very popular model love’, he said. ‘Do I look like someone who bathes in fibre glass?' I asked, annoyed. 'We may be a normal struggling family but we're not that poor you know!’ ‘Well’, he said, the next model up is this steel bath, a very good make’. I was now becoming very annoyed indeed. ‘Less poor than that too dear’, I said, motioning him to move along. ‘We have this lovely cast iron model, very exclusive’. ‘What about that one over there?’ I said pointing to a large roll top resting on feet shaped like swans and adorned by gold taps’ ‘Ah, yes, The Cherie, a very good choice, our most expensive bath.’ 'I’ll take three’, I said. ‘Pay the man dear’, I told my husband. 'And I do hope you won’t even think about delivering the showroom model by the way, young man!’ I explained. ‘I distinctly saw some northern children sitting in it earlier!’ and the very thought made me shiver. I would have to go home and summon up all my strength before we even started looking into toilets.

29 comments:

dulwichmum said...

Darling Rilly, I see your perfect husband and bulging wallet are back on the scene. I do hope you are taking full advantage of his proximity dear heart. Clean him out before he returns down south and keep him out of mischief...

mutterings and meanderings said...

I am, as they say, laughing out loud, Rilly darling!

aims said...

Sorry to be so daft - but being from across the puddle - I don't know what veet is.....can someone clue me in?

Drunk Mummy said...

Dear aims - Veet is for removing the down-like hair from Mrs Super's legs - or her five o'clock shadow, not sure which.
Darling Rilly, the DIY de-fuzz option is rarely satisfactory. Don't they have salons in the North for that sort of thing, or do the women simply grow the hair and plait it?

Sarnia said...

Shudder. Northern children sitting in the show bath. Did they have water in it or coal?

beta mum said...

Did they even get "The Two Ronnies" up there?

Mopsa said...

Four candles - fantastic treat! May have to steal at some future point. I'm a Baarth person too - London does leave it's indelible mark.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Why say "bath" when it's clearly baarth. It's the same with "grass". Just to annoy people who don't speak properly I enjoy putting a few extra "a's" into the words. Just off now to mow the graaaaaaaaaaaass!

debio said...

Think you could avoid all commerce in 'alien' territory by instructing husband to order the perfect kit from down South. Ensure that all goods delivered in shiny, impressive livery.

lady macleod said...

LOL good stuff. I wonder would bathing in Holy Water give one some extra protection against the ills of the day? I'm certain the swans will add that extra omph to the bath!

priceless!

The thinker said...

I would love to comment but apart from saying "you're back on top form" words fail me while i'm still giggling ... excellent. x

The Secretary said...

I am a reformed Northerner. I say Laf, Baf and Paf. Hubby says larf, barth and parth. The children are multi-lingual and can speak northern and southern. So proud.

Cathy said...

Rilly, what a relief from the more serious topics around elsewhere today. Very funny!

Anonymous said...

We don't have this problem in Wales, as we have the 'hirnod' [longnote] to indicate where to stretch a word, with a handy little hat [circumflex] about the letter to show where it is to be elongated...

This blog is superb, fantastic, amazing and a number of other superlatives which I can't be arsed to look up in my thesaurus as I have a couple of pans on the hob at the moment, and I am also trying to phone my sister to wish her happy birthday - Multi-tasking, a risky activity if one is a male of the species...

Anonymous said...

aims - further to drunk mummy's explanation - you may remember it as 'immac' from those childhood adverts which some of us never quite 'got'..

Mr Farty said...

Taps? Taps? Luxury! When I were a lad, we had to take turns in t'tin bath in t'village square, filled with runoff from t'glacier, then dry ourselves off by rubbing stinging nettles on our skins. Tell that to t'kids today, and they won't believe you!

Lizzie said...

The subject matter of these reports from oop north does seem to be getting a little insanitory, I feel. Are there no such things as 'slipper baths' within the local swimming pool Rilly? I do so feel for you, poor loves.

david santos said...

Please, it puts fhoto of Madeleine in your Bloggue

Missing Madeleine!
Madeleine, MeCann was abduted from Praia da Luz, Portugal on 03/03/07.

If you have any information, please contact Crimestoppers on
0800 555 111

Please Help

enidd said...

enidd discovered you today and wondered how it could possibly have taken her so long. it's nice to find someone else who takes blogging so figuratively.

had you considered asking the church where they sourced the fonts? a solid stone font-bath-conversion would be quite a talking point, enidd imagines.

Anonymous said...

david santos - piss off and let the police get on with looking for this girl and stop leaping on the bloody emoting for england bandwagon - this media circus is getting beyond a joke

Anonymous said...

Rilly darling

You have not mentioned the nanny for just the longest time. In the nanny's unexplained and inexplicable absence (is she buried under the patio dear, or should that be terrace?) who feeds the children?

More importantly, in these troubled times, what happens when it is feeding time for the parents?

There are a few Michelin starred restaurants within 100 miles, and every parent needs to nosh.

I know a babysitter would be an option, but you wouldn't want the young minxes to grow up with a Geordie accent now would you?

Leaving the tots home alone has suddenly gone out of fashion. So, might I humbly recommend microchipping for Milly and Tilly? The technology's just got here apparently.

Just think, Rillsome! You could introduce chipping to Newcastle!

EmmaK said...

I would have told Father Patrick that you would no longer be putting any money in the collection basket if he did not let you have bathing privileges. I'm sure that would have changed his mind about the kids bathing in the baptismal font sharpish. What a kill joy!

aims said...

Oh Dear - I really am daft...now everyone on this side of the blue is going to think I'm a braider...instead of realizing I'm a Venus kinda gal...(don't have to steal my man's razor any more...)

rilly super said...

oh dulwichmum, my husband and his bulging, erm, what did you say, oh yes, wallet, are back briefly although it's a shame it's only his wallet that he's got out for me on this visit again, sigh

M&M, thankyou for dropping by as ever.

aims, lack of knowledge of the name of a depilatory product does not make you daft, otherwise all men would automatically be classed as daft, erm, ok, bad example

drunk mummy, we are all in the shadows at 5 o'clock as the sun sets and the candles flicker in our dark northern wilderness..

sarnia darling, it is just best to avoid contact with children, coas or water that comes from up north. All of these are only palatable if imported from the south

betamum, yes, but a little late. That sketch from the seventies has only just reached us dear.

ah nunheadmumofone, I wish you would come up and teach them how to speal properly around here..the rain in spain...

I think you are right debio, but we can't get anyone from london to come up and fit it so we have to buy locally to get installation, sigh

lady mcleod, thanks ever so for visiting. I'm not sure if recent holy water related events will result in our immediate excommunication or cannonisation. It is in the lap of the gods...

thinker, thankyou for being so kind. It is lovely to know my grim stuggles provide some light to others, sigh

crikey secretary, bi-lingual children?! do they talk northern to you and properly to their father? I am very impressed anyway ( oh, the poor confused little darlings...)

Cathy, there are enough people doing 'serious' that they won't miss me doing it.
hang on! what do you mean, suggesting this blog isn't heavyweight and serious!?

anonymous, you need a woman to multi-task although if you can master welsh grammar then you should do better than most chaps dear. Thanks for being so kind about the blog.

hello Mr farty and thanks for popping in to raise the tone of the place! you had glacier run-off water and stinging nettles? you were lucky!!

to be continued...

rilly super said...

hello lizzie, swimming pool? do you mean the river dear?

david santos, thankyou for visiting and for your efforts on that little girl's behalf.

hi ennidd, thanks for dropping by. I think you might have hit on something with the bath-font idea darling although it is a little gothic

anonymous, thanks for visiting. I have thought about this. Let's just hope for the best for all the missing children out there

anaonymous, natalia is still very much in the picture and I'm sure she will feature again soon. Not sure about the 'chips to newcastle' idea, especially if it's the kind of chips that are inside this sodding computer. Muilly and Tilly could be in Ulan Bator red light district and microsoft would still show them watching Cbeebies

emma, oh dear, should I have been putting money INTO that basket. I thought it was the locals collecting to help pay for my pilates. bugger

aims, of course nobody thinks you're a braider, I mean, do you ever actually get to show any arms or legs where you are, won't it attract the polar bears or something? thanks for visiting my dear.

aims said...

Well Rilly - I think I do have a pair of shorts and a swimsuit somewhere.....of course they are probably in those sizes we use to all be long ago - and I probably wouldn't be able to squeeze into them anyway if the polar bears happened to look elsewhere for a few minutes....

rilly super said...

aims, I certainly sympathise with you on that point, that old clothes only cause us regrets. The last canadian I met actually abandoned his home city for the southern US for the duration of the winter so I can understand why you don't have much that isn't fur-lined in your wardrobe.

rilly super said...

I should add to that actually, aims, despite my polar bear related comments,that I do find canadians to be generally lovely people so I'm really glad that at least one of them drops in here from time to time.

aims said...

I drop in every day Rilly - and enjoy myself immensely.
My parents were furriers - imagine that! And my closet is well stocked with that commodity that keeps out the cold the best.
Of course there are the other closets that shrink clothes - I wonder why we allow the builders to install them in the first place...
Thanks for the nod to us Canucks....I'm very proud to be one - and very happy to live here (although vacations are in the southern climes - what can I say)