Today's best birthday present - apart from all the terrific greetings from people - was a bath. That is, Alice has done what I've been curiously backwards in doing: persuaded me, at long last, of the attractions of taking a bath in the bathroom that leads off my study on the ground floor of the house. In theory, I've been wanting to do this for an age - and indeed, had tidied it, and cleared out the cat litter tray from that space, and hung some pictures, and so on. And it's not as though I don't appreciate baths generically - much appreciate them as places for thinking in, indeed. But that final step? Not taken, until Alice so wonderfully bought candles and little glasses, and set them up, and gave me some bath salts (not the pink and sickly kind that Gran used to have on the bathroom window) and - well, after this prompt, my strange mental barrier has been broken, and I'm much looking forward to the next ablution.