When you start a blog you go on a research trip around the Internet to get some tips on what you should be doing.
9 times out of 10 the top piece of advice will be: “Make sure you actually write about SOMETHING. Be that something books, horses, angling or sea shell art it doesn’t matter, just don’t blether on about nothing. Find something you know about and blog that. Failing this make sure you fudge it full of SEO so at least SOMEONE will actually read your nonsense.”
I do neither of these things, so today, rather than write about something I have knowledge of (I don’t know much about anything) or inflict a post on you for the sake of it, spamming the entire thing with “JUSTIN BIEBER NAKED!!!!” in the hope that some 13 year olds might at least read it, Im going to talk to you about bathrooms.
I really like bathrooms.
I don’t know anything about them, like grout and that, I just like them.
They have something about them that sends me into fits of existential revelry. After fantasising about the perfect writing desk, the next thing on my Grand Design list would definitely be the bathroom.
When I wake up sweating in the night from one of those “ILL BE DEAD ONE DAY!!” panic attacks (that I shall pretend everyone else has) I calm myself down by going into the bathroom.
I’m not in there keeping people waiting because I’m obsessing over my hair, nope, I’m in there wrangling with the deepest thoughts I’m capable of and pretending I’m famous.
I have accepted awards in the bathroom, read out obituaries and imagined my own. I have been the subject or Rolling Stone magazine interviews in the bathroom, where under the guise of some Cat Power-esque folk/rock chic I have conducted said immortal interview from the tub, my modesty obscured by a mound of very expensive (and totally imagined) bubble bath.
I have seen myself at my best in the bathroom and with my eyes so puffed up and pillowy from tears I was barely recognisable.
The bathroom is the one place in any house where you wont be disturbed; the one room which has a lock on it where you can be completely on your own.
Sure, there’s your bedroom, but people exist in that room with you. You engage with others in it, sometimes in extremely intimate detail. As a child you have your mum watching over you as you tearily tidy everything up after a telling off; as a teen you are yelling “get OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUT!” at the top of your lungs, moments after your mum has asked you if you’d like sweetcorn with your tea. As an adult the walls, floors and cupboards in your bedroom are crammed with all the stuff you have accumulated (mostly from your mum), and, if you are anything like me, feel a little bit guilty about.
You can’t escape from YOU in your bedroom – there you are in that photo, there you are all over those dirty socks, that’s tomorrow’s work shirt hanging from the chair.
The bathroom is a neutral no-man’s land with no distractions and no reminders. It is the one place in the house where you can have a good old think without worrying about the dusting (hahahaha! I’m pretending to worry about dust now!) or the bills that are always just in your eye line.
And you can do all the thinking you want completely naked if you so choose.
I have written epic, sweeping poems in my bathroom and countless BAFTA winning sitcoms. Just staring into the mirror picking at imperfections here and there on my face. That’s all it takes. Dialogue flows out of me, hysterical scenes and poignantly conclusive final episodes dazzle the shampoos and Sudacrem right off the shelf.
In my bathroom I AM EMMA THOMPSON.
But try and write it all down, try even to remember the giddy bon mots the moment I leave my eyebrows alone leads to utter failure.
For the sake of my career Kevin McCloud is just going to have to combine my fantasies: the perfect writing desk IN the perfect bathroom.
As for the subject of reading in the bathroom, whether in the tub or on the pan – what the hell else are you going to do? Focus on a spot on the wall opposite and pretend you aren’t some disgusting defecating creature or pick up a book and spend your time learning something?
I have no idea how much of your life you spend on the loo, but I’m going to guess about 13 full years. That’s alot of learning to be had. Why waste it being a blank, purely functioning human being each trip?
Get an encyclopedia in there, a collection of articles by your favourite columnist (might I suggest one of Charlie Brooker’s books or Paperweight by Stephen Fry?) or just a stack of Grazia magazines. You will learn some capital cities AND how to be mysanthropically fashionable all in the oner!
My advice to you if you are thinking about starting a blog and don’t know where to begin is: “why the heck are you asking me? Have you read my blog?” and also “go sit in the bathroom for a while, you will come out feeling epic, if a little blotchy”.
Forget the kitchen, it’s all about the bathroom at my place.