Waterfront dining


Nothing says 'a day off ' like paging through a fun magazine in the bath

I took today off work, sort of. I started my computer and checked email, then browsed Facebook and the latest celebrity gossip (the nice kind, not the Grazia-esque or phone-tapping variety). This is how I assuage my life-long guilt of taking days off work – by pretending I’m working, as if being at a computer is tantamount to doing something useful.

After about an hour I snapped myself out of this and left my office. I tore the plastic wrapping off my just-bought copy of Red magazine and examined the ‘free-with-this-month’s-issue’ tube of rose-scented bath and shower gel. I went to the bathroom and ran a warm bath.

Before entering the bath, I visited the kitchen. I resisted the three Belgian chocolates left over from dinner with friends last night. Instead, I went for a sweet-salty combo: I poured a glass of orange squash (for Americans, this is like a cheap cordial, which you mix with water); and I grabbed one nearly-empty and one unopened bag of “mature cheddar and pickled onion flavour” Tyrrell’s potato chips (apparently now called ‘crisps’, in ‘proper’ British fashion, according to Tyrrell’s website and the many comments from Brits who don’t seem very happy about the way we Americans refer to fried potatoes).

Posh crisps (chips!) and cheap squash

As I undressed, I felt the giddy pleasure – but also slight ‘ick’ factor – of eating in my bathroom. It brought to mind an episode of Seinfeld, when Kramer realized he enjoyed being in the shower so much that he installed a food waste disposal in the drain and did all his cooking and dishwashing in the shower. (To my friends who came over for dinner last night, I assure you all the food was prepared in the kitchen. Though judging by the state of the kitchen I’m not sure that’s much consolation.)

I slipped into the bath, then realized I’d left the nearly-empty bag of chips on the other side of the room, while the unopened bag was close to hand. Just last night my husband spluttered when I opened the second box of Belgian chocolates because one chocolate still remained in the first box. It was as if he didn’t think I would finish the first box and move on to the second – these were BELGIAN chocolates. Clearly he’s deranged.

So as the warm bathwater soothed my muscles, I realized it would be counter-productive to hoist myself, drippingly, up and out of the bath to get the already-opened bag of crisps on the other side of the bathroom. I ripped open the new bag – which was filled with big, perfect, unbroken chips, rather than the shards and crumbs the other bag had to offer.

Holding the magazine at eye level without getting bathwater or cheddar-and-pickled-onion-fingerprints on the pages proved difficult, especially since I insisted on reading without breaking my chip-munching stride. Add to this the occasional effort to take a sip of squash while lying half-prone, and you start to get the picture. Eventually I found that eating a chip, cleaning my fingers by dipping them in the bathwater then drying them on a nearby towel enabled me to safely turn the pages of the magazine without undue damage.

The bath was hardly rose-scented by the end, what with all the mature-cheddar-and-pickled-onion I’d added, but maybe there was an idea there for an eclectic dinner: rose-water scented cheese-and-onion potato pasties?

When my delightful cheese-and-onion bath was done, I guiltily remembered the nearly-empty bag of crisps that I couldn’t reach. For the sake of my marriage, I poured the shards and crumbs into the now-half-eaten newer bag … as if none of this had ever happened.

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