Katie Archibald column: Is it too late to say I’m not sorry?

Saying sorry is quintessentially British, but not when you're stealing all the hot water

Katie Archibald

Are you allowed to say sorry for something if, given your time again, you’d go back and do the exact same thing? I was thinking about this while having a scalding hot shower on holiday.

I could tell that when I got out my body was going to have a territorial line down the side marking where the water had hit (bright red) and where it hadn’t (bright white). The water was so hot it was painful; just right.

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The reason I was thinking about saying sorry is there was limited hot water in the apartment we were renting, and I was first in. The next person would probably be OK, maybe even the person after that, but whoever was last in the shower out of my mother, brother or father was almost definitely going to be standing under lukewarm water.

For this I pitied them.

But I didn’t move from under the lava hose. I also didn’t say sorry (please refer to my original question). I did, however, make sure my mum was the next person in the shower because if hers had been cold then I really would have felt bad.

It might not seem it from this story, where the main theme is ‘Katie Archibald is a bad person who not only steals all the hot water but also refers to herself in the third person’, but I say sorry quite a lot. I’m one of those people who walks into a chair and then apologises to the chair (the collective noun for such people is ‘Brits’).

I know it’s annoying.

I know this because I’ve listened to my European road team-mates trash talk the English for it, which was one of those occasions where it’s fine to say ‘English’ when really you mean ‘British’ because what you’re saying is bad and now doesn’t apply to me.

Well, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to change my ways. If you smack me across the face, I’m probably going to say sorry for putting my face there. Because I really do regret it. I hope you regret it too if I’m honest. But I’m not saying sorry for my dangerously hot shower.

I don’t regret one drop of that.

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