It will soon be Christmas. Time for preparations. Spiritual as well as more mundane preparations like decorating the house, buying presents, food, drinks and so on. Sending Christmas cards. Meeting friends and relatives, going to parties, and so on and on.

Every so often in life we all find ourselves sitting back and remembering times gone by and perhaps weighing up past events against what is likely to happen in the future.

Certain occasions seem to trigger such reveries from the many dark corners of our minds. It could be at the time around Christmas or the New Year when we look back wistfully at the year just ended and wonder what the next twelve months will bring. Or it could be at the time of one’s birthday, or other anniversary like a wedding anniversary, or 25 or so years in marriage, that these memories come floating by to the front of  your head and keeps you pondering.

Imagine for instance you’re lying there in your bath, relaxing amongst the soap bubbles and warm water, perhaps reading one of my books, when suddenly a thought strikes you from nowhere …

Which is in fact precisely what happened to me the other day … … …

There I was, enjoying a warm bath and a good read, when somehow my thoughts turned to death. I don’t know why such thoughts crossed my mind but I wondered what happens after death.

I know what we are taught about eternal life and the here-after; but somehow I wondered what if there actually was re-incarnation? Can you imagine? Returning back as a tin of evaporated milk?

It was made from contented cows, you know!

How did the cows know to stop when the tin of milk was full? Did they stop in mid flow, I wondered.

Also, how do chickens know the precise size of the egg cup when we have soft-boiled eggs?

And why is it when I am sitting there in the bath, or you are sitting there in the bath … another bath of course, not the one I am in … why is it that the soap bubbles gather in groups here, there and elsewhere? Why can’t they all gather together in one big group? What if you add more liquid soap? Would there be more bubbles than water in your bath?

What comes first? Do you put the liquid soap in the bath first and then add the water? Or do you run the water in the bath and add the soap afterwards?

It’s like the chicken and egg situation, although I would advise you don’t have a chicken with you in the bath. Or an egg for that matter.

Anyway, about animals in Heaven …

Can you imagine meeting that wasp, or yellowjacket, you killed last summer when you’re in Heaven? It might well sting you in the backside in revenge; because they don’t wear anything under those long robes they give you in Heaven, you know!

I imagined Saint Peter warning me about the yellowjackets and me holding my legs tightly together to protect my manhood.

That made the bubbles in my bath move to one side.

By the way, did you hear about the hypochondriac mosquito? She died of malaria!

Somehow, the thought made me smile and then laugh out loud.

What is laughter? I asked myself, but did not reply.

I thought about it for a while. It is a build up of energy that starts somewhere deep within one’s diagram, (just above the belly button), and rushes up your asparagus, and comes out as a loud noise out of your mouth.

From anywhere else and you’re in trouble!

Anyway, this train of thoughts somehow took a turning back to death and family members now long gone.

I remembered my dear old grandad. He always used to say to me “take every thing with a pinch of salt!” Mind you, he made a terrible cup of tea.

He told me once that when I was born in hospital I was very ugly indeed. Apparently the nurse slapped me on the backside and hit my dad in the mouth.

But as I grew up, like the ugly duckling, I became really good looking. I recall when I worked in London I was stopped in the street by a very beautiful woman who said, “Hello handsome. Can you direct me to the optician please?”

In my reverie, sitting there in the bath, I recalled my dear old uncle. He was a very well educated man and a professor at the local University where he taught graffiti and hooliganism.

He used to tell his students: “Sticks and stones may break my bones. But words will never hurt me!” Then one day a printing press fell on him.

He went to the hardware store once and said to the shop-assistant, “I want a ladder.” The assistant asked, “How long do you want it?” My uncle replied, “I want to keep it for ever!”

He was quite a character my uncle. Once he put a cake and custard in his wife’s nylon tights and then declared, “Never trifle with a woman’s affection!”

My aunt was quite a figure to look at and wonder. A real hour-glass figure, she had. She said she had been on a peanut and melon diet. The peanuts didn’t do much good but the melons …

One night whilst in bed with her husband she said to my uncle, “Set the alarm clock for six!” He replied, “Why? There’s only two of us!”

My other uncle was a glazier. You know, a person whose trade is fitting glass into windows and doors. Once, working at this multi-storey block of offices, he spent all day changing the glass in over 100 windows. Then he realised he had a crack in his spectacles.

By this time the water in the bath was getting a little cold and it was time I got out and practised my body-building poses in front of the full length mirror. It reminded me of the time when I went to see the doctor. He asked me, “Do you have trouble passing water?”

I replied, “I get a little dizzy when travelling over a bridge!”

He was a great Shakespearean actor, my doctor. Toured the USA and other countries for years. His favourite role was in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Have you seen his Bottom? Or perhaps caught a glimpse of his Malvolio on the Twelfth Night?

Anyway, enough of me and my bathing memories.

At least they are better than those of yet another uncle of mine. His doctor told him to keep away from all dampness because of his rheumatism. So he sat in an empty bath and vacuum cleaned himself!

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