A Dip in the Pool of History

Nicola here! Last month we had a heatwave in England and now once again the hot weather is back, the grass has turned yellow and 220px-Tooting_Bec_Lido_20080724
there’s talk of banning the use of hosepipes. Our heat here (up to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit) is nothing though compared to the temperatures elsewhere in Europe and also across the world. It’s not something we’re equipped to deal with (no air con in most homes and other buildings) but at least as an island we have lots of lovely beaches and cool seas. I live as far away from the sea as it’s possible to do in England so I make do with the local swimming pool which is still very refreshing even though it’s a heated pool. Elsewhere in the country, the lidos – outdoor, unheated swimming pools – are becoming very popular again. It reminds me of the Spartan regime of my school swimming lessons which I always associate with the smell of wild garlic because they took place at an outdoor pool in the woods!

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Simple Pleasures Then and Now

Freshly made bedNicola here! Today I’m musing on a few of our favourite things and whether our Regency heroes and heroines would have valued the same pleasures that we do.

A recent poll of 2000 people aimed to make a list of all the simple things in life that make us happy. At number 1 was one of my own favourites, a freshly made bed. I confess I iron all my bedding because I enjoy the lovely cool, smooth feel of freshly laundered bed linen so much. I don’t enjoy ironing at all but it’s worth it for that moment when you slide between the sheets (or between the sheet and duvet) and smile with pleasure.

In the past I suspect that the enjoyment of beautifully laundered bed linen must have been the privilege of the rich, those people who had a laundry and maids to deal with all their washing, drying and ironing. If you were the laundry maid you probably fell into your own bed at the end of the day so exhausted that you didn’t even notice the state of the bedclothes!

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