Father’s Day – its looming and there’s always that challenge.  What do dads really want? 

Well here’s perhaps what they don’t want.  Don’t make it another tie or socks.  He’s just got through Christmas laden down with woolly footwear and neck ornamentation.   

It’s June, he’s more likely to be slipping on the flip flops and lounging around in a polo shirt or Tee.  So back away from the default ‘Dads’ Day’ setting gifts and let’s give it some thought here. 

A mug with ‘Dad’ anywhere on it should be a once-only deal.  Most dads have ‘for best’ gift toiletry travel kits stashed in drawers all over the house, then there are all the manly and incredibly specialised miniaturised tool knives, torch-cum-toothbrush-cum-telescope sight type bits and pieces. 

Unless he loves spying on leprechauns after dark, whittling them tiny furniture and buffing it to a shine with a cordless dental appliance, we’d recommend giving those novelty gift items a miss too. 

His favourite beer/whiskey/chocolates are all great, will all be well received, but are unlikely to be a surprise. 

Dads actually do enjoy being spoilt – just like mums. 

If not out for dinner then his favourite dinner cooked at home with love will go far.   Just like mums he may crave a bit of ‘me time’.   

Well that’s easy.  Go out of your way to make him feel a bit special alongside the presentation of your carefully chosen gift and a good meal. 

Sparkle the bathroom, fluff up the towels, make sure the lock is in working order, put on a few favourite ‘dad tracks’ that can be heard from the tub and load up with relaxing and calming bath products.   

We know we’re breaking a confidence here but truth is – men love baths, and they’re not averse to the addition of some relaxing oils or salts. 

Think about it.  Roman baths – they had separate baths for men and women and it was just as much an event for the men as for the women.  For the men it was largely the preserve of those steaming themselves, cleansing, relaxing and de-stressing.  But it was also time away from the real world in which great thinkers philosophised and big ideas were born.  Now even if that is just arriving at the right spot to site the new BBQ, pure head space for clarity of thought is in short supply these days. 

Those Roman guys emerged, pink, squeaky-clean and ready for anything – battles, feasting, maybe even some Olympian effort at sports - and feeling like a million dollars (even before dollars were invented). 

The Great British Bath Night owes more than a passing nod to the Romans.  As they advanced west in England, building the Fosse Way as they went, they crossed the River Avon.  

Near there they discovered a hot water spring. It brought over one million litres of hot water to the surface every day at a temperature of about 48 degrees centigrade.  

A reservoir was built to control the water flow, baths and a temple.  The city of Bath quickly grew around this forerunner of the town leisure complex.  

We’re just as serious about making taking a bath an event, and for that you need to clear Dad’s diary and make sure everyone else is invited to observe an exclusion zone around the bathroom door.  Go on - make father’s day great.