I thought that if I could ever have one of those “web-logs”, I’d call it Ante-Bath Notes. But I never told anyone. Surely they’d steal the idea! I finally braved WordPress to find out how to do it, & was astounded that no-one else had already co-opted “Ante-Bath Notes”. Maybe there aren’t so many calligraphers who blog. Or maybe they never met Paul Freeman or took his reading list seriously. Or read Priscilla Johnston’s biography of her father. Edward’s new workroom was ready to occupy, and his wife gave him a bathmat as an inaugural present for it:
The gift of a bathmat is explained by the fact that he used his workroom to dress in and had his bath there. He never used the bathroom, preferring his own elaborately organized system of gas-rings, enamel cans, home-made towel rails, slop pails and, of course, his old tin bath. This process was apt to take rather a long time, particularly as it seems to have stimulated mental activity; indeed he had a notebook which he sometimes called his ‘ante-bath’ book. There he would stand in his dressing-gown, lost in thought, noting that ‘Familiar inaccuracy is more clear than accuracy. Sunrise is vividly clear, Earth-set (or dip, or down) most wd. not guess implied the dawn’ or: ‘Do runner beans in Australia reverse turn, following the sun?’ or : ‘I rather suspect or fear (?) that there are intervals in sensation–sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and others–and that (like as the space exceeds the solids in matter) the interval times exceed the sensation times . . . . Are time and space themselves continuous or discrete? And if they are discrete, what great clock ticks out their instants?’ or, again, perhaps most characteristic of all: ‘Rediscovered series sum of
1/ 1,2/ 1,2,3/ = (N+1)³ – (N+1).’
By now the bathwater would be cold and the whole process of cans and gas-rings would have to be set in motion again. What wonder that he shrank from the effort of getting up?
–from Edward Johnston by Priscilla Johnston
Of course, we only have a shower. So don’t expect much.
[*I cannot get the 6 to stay under the centre of the expression
(N+1)³ – (N+1) no matter how I try.]