I took that pic in my garden the other day and am sharing it with you because today is National Don’t Step on a Bee Day.
The phonetics of that sentence make me wish it were a day of awareness not for our buzzy fertilising friends, but for those strange plumbing fixtures for arsehole-washing.
We’re getting our bathroom done and not once has it occurred to me to ensure we have a bidet installed. There’s something very British about keeping a faintly mucky arsehole, or at least not being so involved in the daily care of our arseholes.
The Italians love a bum wash. 97% of them have a bidet and their installation has been mandatory since 1975. Same in Spain and Portugal. In Japan they’re all about the integrated toilet with warm jets, blow-dry and heated toilet seat.
Here in the UK it seems we just can’t be arsed with our arses; their use is mainly confined to those with limited mobility, allowing for independent toileting.
But the loo, the loo must be just right and I have visited every showroom within a 10 mile radius and sat on every loo to assess the height and width specifications for maximum comfort.
This is because I spend a vast amount of time on the loo. By which I mean I spend a vast amount of time behind the locked door of the loo. My bowels work fine (since you didn’t ask), it’s my brain that needs emptying. Or at least, empty time.
If you have young children you’ll know they have no respect for the locked door. And some partnerships work on the basis that sharing bowel movements is healthy, with one doing the unspeakable on the loo while the other washes their unspeakables in the shower. I currently have neither situation; both my offspring are old enough to be routinely ignored and Gwyneth and I pass like the proverbial ships in the night.
So it’s on the loo where I can cry, where I can read and often where I write this blog (an image for which you’re very welcome and which I very nearly captured and shared with you).
It’s on the loo where I pull myself together, work stuff out and most of all breathe. Oh, the deep breathing. From the outside you’d think I was actually evacuating. Which I suppose I am, in a way.
The word bidet comes from the French word for small pony, its use here presumably because one needs to straddle the basin to find the precise position for hitting the target.
There’s something about that dedication to self-care which I’m finding suddenly rather appealing. Perhaps taking better care of one’s arsehole, leads to taking better care of one’s whole self.
Honey bees are extremely hygienic creatures. They never poo in the hive, waiting until they’re at least 3-4 feet away before letting it go mid-flight. This is called, rather wonderfully, a ‘cleansing flight’.
We can all do with a little inner cleansing. Especially we women who have much in common with the honey bee.
In her brilliant book, ‘The Secret Life of Bees’, Sue Monk Kidd writes: “Women make the best beekeepers ’cause they have a special ability built into them to love creatures that sting. It comes from years of loving children and husbands.”
Of course for the bee itself, the act of stinging is its last hurrah, whereas kids and husbands can deliver an endless supply of short, sharp shocks, sending you fleeing back behind the locked door.
Monk Kidd also wrote: “When it’s time to die, go ahead and die, and when it’s time to live, live. Don’t sort-of-maybe live, but live like you’re going all out, like you’re not afraid.”
Let us not be afraid of the bidet!
Let us be like the bee and take routine cleansing flights, away from the hive, where we can get rid of all our shit and then suck up some of life’s sweet nectar (wine) and return home, ready to work hard again on trying to make everything sweet.
Maybe then we can avoid getting so stung…