My bathwater is pale blue. This is not as a result of any fragrant additives introduced by me, but, I suspect, of the chemicals which Scottish Water use to ensure that we are all kept pure and spotless within and without. In fact, in recent weeks I have noticed that there is a strong smell of chlorine while the hot tap is running, and - worse - a strong smell of chlorine from my newly-bathed skin.
Now, I am a frequent visitor to our local public swimming pool, where I appreciate the need to zap any bodily unpleasantness that finds its way into the water in which we all swim. However, I am not so aware of the need to disinfect our every ablution - unless the water supply is so contaminated with unmentionables that we'd all be dead in our baths before you could shout "plague!" And I do resent the fact that at certain times whose governing criteria I am as yet unable to discern our drinking water should have its very own chemical taste which can only be disguised by a strong coffee. In a society where we are increasingly admonished to drink plenty of water it is surely supremely important that the water in question should be .....tasteless?
When in the past I visited rellies in Leigh-on-Sea, we drank bottled water because the tap water smelled and tasted as if it had been stored for along time in an old rubber hot-water-bottle. There was the suggestion that it had been recycled seven times before we drank it - or is that merely a mystical number? But the point is this: in the West of Scotland we still have a great deal of water. Some of it is tumbling from the heavens even as I write. Is there no way it could arrive in my tap in a rather more virginal state?
And now I'm off to search for a water-butt .......