Monday, January 09, 2012

Two-Seaters

I want to get back to posting here more regularly, so expect some random off-the-top-of-my-head rambling. I'm not sure what it says about me that the first topic that tripped into my mind was toilets. I blame Bill Bryson, who commented in his bathroom chapter on the communal nature of such things in past centuries ... which reminded me that my childhood home had a two-seater! That put us in good company as, according to Bryson, so did Thomas Jefferson. Admittedly our two-seater was in a shed at the bottom of the garden and no longer functional. By the time we lived there it was used for storing garden tools rather than its intended purpose, but I imagine though that even in the 1960s there were probably few still surviving - if there were ever many around in the first place. Strangely, I can still picture it quite clearly ... a small brick-built building with a wooden door, with a wooden box-like structure running across the full width at the back with two suitably sized holes in the top. There was no plumbing, so I presume it was an earth closet. Why a two-seater I have no idea. It was a farm, so maybe a combination of family and workers meant it was in high demand. Unfortunately we lived there long before digital photography, and nobody ever thought to waste photographic film and record it for posterity.

I'll try to come up with a more delicate topic next time! Back to my Kindle now. I finished the Bill Bryson book and am about to start book 2 - Beasts in my Belfry by Gerald Durrell.

2 comments:

ellie said...

Bookworm! You've inspired a whole thread of thought and memory! When I was a girl, we'd spend most of each summer traveling -- our parents would tip all of us kids into the car and off we'd go, all over Canada and the US. We visited many many national parks and random camping corners. I well remember the "way down pots" as I called them -- they terrifyed me with their lack of light and plumbing and their deep dark holes! Many of them, if not most, were indeed two-seaters and fully functional and maintained!

Missus Wookie said...

Random Ramblings are often rather refreshing ;)

Wookie's family home when I met him had an outside toilet - the last of the council housing that hadn't been converted as such. Our first house had one too - although there was also an internal bathroom... built over the coal store/wash house/outdoor toilet. Which meant no heating, three external walls AND a freezing floor - add in leaky sash windows and it wasn't the nicest place on a winter's morn.