Thursday, October 27, 2016

You want to live like your grandparents?

ahile back I discussed water and that Lolo had a deep well drilled so we can be independent for our water supply.

having an electric pump that can be run by one of your generators is a big help for floods, typhoons, or just when the electricity goes out in the dry season when the hydroelectric dams are inadequate.

But for those of you who think living in the good old days close to nature, just remember that body lice is not a nice thing to have, and the alternative is backbreaking work hauling water and wood to take a bath.

Of course, the poor just went dirty and the rich had lots and lots of servants....

So today's blog read is from PenAndPension blog

that discusses the problem of keeping clean in 18th century Europe.

Being clean was expensive. All water for washing or bathing would have to be fetched in buckets from a well or a stream. Then it had to be heated by burning suitable amounts of wood or coal. To heat enough even for a shallow bath would take a good deal of fuel — fuel which otherwise could have been used for cooking or heating a room.

via TeaAtTrianon

yet the myth that people in Europe did not bath is not quite true, since bath houses for the poor were available in some parts of Europe.

For most people, having a private bath was not an option – it was simply too costly and too time-consuming to have their own baths. That does not mean they went without bathing, for public baths were very common throughout Europe. By the thirteenth-century one could find over 32 bathhouses in Paris; Alexander Neckham, who lived in that city a century earlier, says that he would be awakened in the mornings by people crying in the streets that ‘that baths are hot!”
In Southwark, the town on the opposite side of the Thames River from London, a person could choose from 18 hot baths. Even smaller towns would have bathhouses, often connected with the local bakery – the baths could make use of the heat coming from their ovens to help heat their water.
In her book Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity Virginia Smith explains,”By the fifteenth-century, bath feasting in many town bathhouses seems to have been as common as going out to a restaurant was to become four centuries later.
Bathing in Islam and in Hindu countries are often encoded in religious laws, so saw Europeans, who came from colder climates, as dirty.

Even in Africa, people often bathed in local streams, which alas were full of Snails carrying schistosomiasis.

however, Vikings did bathe regularly.

What we do know from the excavation of Viking burial mounds is that personal grooming tools are some of the most common items found. Items such as razors, tweezers and ear spoons have been found. In fact combs seem to be the most common artifact found from the Viking Age. We also know that the Vikings made a very strong soap which was used not only for bathing, but also for bleaching their hair. Vikings bleached their hair as it seems blond hair was highly valued in the Viking World. We also know from the accounts of the Anglo-Saxons that the Vikings who attacked and ultimately settled in England were considered to be ‘clean-freaks’, because they would bathe once a week.
presumably they would take the bath with their very own rubber duckie 

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