Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Romancing the Home - or the Story behind those Daily Mail headlines



No one would have believed that in the early years of the twenty-first century that my ablutorial facilities were being considered by the fairer sex. Few could have conceived that across the timeless whorls of London that minds immeasurably superior to mine regarded my toilet with envious eyes.
Slowly, but surely they drew their plans against me.

As some of more my astute readers will know - I have been waging the most terrible war of attrition.

The frontline has been my bathroom, the shells have been bottles of unguents unknown to mankind and the prize complete domination of my house itself - for fripperous purposes.
I drew attention to the horrors of this recently - when I had noticed candles and bottles appearing like magic in the clean minimalist bathroom.

I predicted that it was the 'Thin End of the Wedge', 'The Shape of things to Come' - and a harbinger of my doom.

However - because I had confronted the terrors, I had told myself that it was a mere border incursion a few stray rounds in a cold war of lavatorial simplicity.

I could not have been more wrong.

The infestation stepped up a gear after I had been lulled into the falsest sense of security by my particular friend whilst away playing yachts on Friday. A pincer movement of Rommelesque beauty was being carried out under my unsuspecting nose.

I was merrily taking her through 'evolutions' - you chaps are aware of the sort - flag drill, copious saluting, salt horse and dried peas, weighing anchor, more saluting, mooring up to buoys, running the great guns in and out, divisions and dog-watch skylarking. All in all a healthy day of maritime training and healthy outdoor fun.

I heroically drove us home lantern jawed, betwixt flooded roads and swollen rivers in the Alvis and returned to Chez-Chap in some style.

We merrily set about preparing a dinner together and running a bath of fresh-water to wash away the salt of the cruel sea and relax.

Hubris comes before nemesis - but the hubristic never see it coming.

With dinner bubbling in the galley-stove I trundled upstairs - only to be greeted by a sight grim enough to chill a man's heart to stone.

Now - Chappism takes many forms - from the anarcho-dandy through the louche cad to the austerity of the Colonial planter facing down the natives and protecting the memsahib with the 'Gatling unjammed'.

Like many chaps - I have many aspects of this within me - but the nautical chap knows there is a beauty to simplicity in his facilities. Lounging in the velvet brocade bordello pants in one's fully fitted Indonesian sitting room is one thing. A chap's bathroom should only ever contain Dettol, a wire brush, Euthymol toothpaste and - if more hirsute than this fellow - coal-tar shampoo. Not for I pommade, brylcreams or other unguents. No - they compromise my simplicity.

I didn't mind that cushions and other things have appeared in my house.
Nor when the Kitchen was re-arranged at me.
I grinned and bore it when Coordinated Interiors catalogues appeared in my bedroom.

The Bathroom was the final frontier. My last stand - one round left in the Martini Henry with my back against the mealy bags and bayonet fixed.

The line in the sand.

My Imjin River - the Kidney Ridge to the Afrika Korps of fripperies invading my house.
However, discretion is the better part of valour - and it is a wise Captain who knows when he is out gunned, when the weather gauge is against him - and his 26 gun frigate is surrounded by a pair of French 74's, treble shotted and your mainmast gone.

There is a time to fight to the last-man-last round and a time to salute your foe, declare that 'this will no longer do', run down your colours and hand-over your sword with a bow - and hope that you are treated with respect, your parole accepted, and you can live out until the peace in luxury in Paris.

This was such a time.
I stared defeat in the face - all I could do was strike my colours and hope for some clemency.

My Particular friend had not only filled the bath with unctuous steaming hot bubbles, but warmed the towels, lit the candles and was waiting within with a glass brimming with iced Gin and Tonic.

I crumbled - my resolve weakened beyond hope.

Knowing that this was the last stand and after this my house was no longer mine - but the preserve of women - my bottom lip trembled and my eyes misted.
All a chap can do when faced with such - is to behave as any Englishman should - stand proud and face defeat with resolution.

'Get in then', she said from within the bubble bergs and flashing a heart melting smile.
Gulp.

How could I resist?
The rest is D-Noticed - but suffice to say my surrender was unconditional. Within hours, the shock troops of frippery had congratulated themselves on my armistice.
My domicile now a mere Sudatenland to their evil gains.
Within a day the Lodger had secure her beach-head and has broken out - turning my once peaceful abode into a bawdy house for the meedyah. Again, decency prohibits me saying why - but she is associating herself with the very worst form of televisual type.

I can only work with my conquering heroes now. I can only look forward to reorganising my bedroom, decorating the hall and replanting the garden.
It is a matter of time until they 'Anchsluss' my Garage - replacing my Large Motorcycle with a push-bike with wicker basket. For Flowers.

I fear I am now domesticated.

There will be a short memorial at the Castle, Gosport this Friday at 10pm.

No Flowers.
PS: Alright! - I'm letting it happen - but she is rather nice - and I happen to love her, ok? And yes, I did the bath bit, and the bubbles. But the battle was already lost - and I'm a collaborator.

8 comments:

Kate said...

Even the lowest form of gutter hack can recognise such glaring factual inaccuracies when they're staring her in the face.

I must disabuse your readership of the fearful misapprehensions they are being led into.

YOU ran the bath. YOU broke out the scented unguents. and YOU poured the G&T.

Where was I?

Downstairs, knocking up some delicious dinner - like the best kind of memsahib.

Now, let's see if you publish this and set the record straight ...

Nicodemus said...

Err...I...gosh. Hmmm.

I shall publish a correction.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha!
I thought as much! I KNEW it was you all along!

Anonymous said...

Bubble Bath Mr D? No Dettol? It will be fluffy towels and luxuration next!

Anonymous said...

you'll be back to sailing in that sarong ... again ....

sigismund said...

I think the record must be straightened. The chappism is a front.

Sailing in a sarong?
Running bubble baths?
Collaborating with the enemy?

Pah - stiffen your resolve. I intend to run a training camp to "sort you out".

You know the address, the cellar as they say awaits.

Anonymous said...

Yes I recall tell - that the rather fetching sarong was due to a lack of bathing - on a particularly sticky sailing excursion in the tropics - story goes it resulted in a particularly nasty salt infestation & a significant amount of chaffing ...

So really - who cares who ran the bath - atleast Mr D is washing -

Nicodemus said...

Lies, all Lies..... I know, because I was there. Not your pointless propaganda H.