Toilets

Dear Peg and Friends,
As a youth I was very fortunate in that the home that I was brought up in actually had a bathroom. It was also fitted out with a full sized bath, and in one end there was a built in shower which covered about half the length of the bath. You may ask, what’s all the fuss about. Well back then, not all homes had an amenity such as a bathroom. Any bathing at home without this facility would be difficult, and carried out with the aid of a small tin bath. Back then you bathed best way you could. You picked your time, and if you were lucky, in front of a fire. In our home, and located in the same bath room, there was also a flush toilet, as well a  washbasin. As an added luxury, a hot and cold water supply was also piped in.
At this period bedrooms in both private homes and boarding houses were in the main supplied only with a washstand. This had standing on it, a large wash basin, together with a matching jug. These came as set, and would contain a couple of gallons of cold water. Many rooms also had a commode. This was a chair fitted out with a concealed a Jerry pot. This saved a many trip out in the cold to the bottom of the garden where the toilets were generally located. In my youth only about half of our town had sewerage system, most of the homes who were unlucky enough to be outside this service, relied on a weekly night soil collection. That was the reason toilets were outdoors, and situated some distance from the house.
Bathrooms were also a scarce item in Hotels or Boarding Houses. There would be a bathroom on each floor of any establishment. It would be rare thing indeed to find an en suite bathroom attached to any room back then. Another innovation was toilet paper. The toilet roll as we know it today was not a ‘must have’ item, in fact most homes substituted any kind of paper, magazines newspaper cut into squares and threaded on a string. The was one toilet brand sold that I remember and that was ‘Jeyes’. It came in a packet and the paper was shiny and in my opinion definitely not suited for it’s purpose. Anyway whole nations could manage without using toilet paper at all. This was India where I noticed, that when a visit to a toilet was made, a bucket of water was always taken along as well. I imagine other Countries have the quaint solutions to this toilet problem.
While off shore, I must mention the French. Their toilets are clean, but manned by a dragon. I got the message quickly that she required a fee before I was going to be allow to use their facility. I was surprised that the French were being so frugal to the end, when I picked up my one small square of toilet paper, but only after I settled my account.
The china throne that the West has adopted, is not the what is used in the East, they prefer to squat. Many countries only go as far a making a couple of foot pads in the toilet room, no that’s not correct many places do not run to a room but are only screened. Our throne must have presented a problem to the early Eastern travellers when Asians first started to visit here. But ever resourceful, they just stood on the seat. The footprints on the toilet lids, initially puzzled the cleaners, but in time they worked it out, as did the Eastern tourists. But it must have been a an exercise in dexterity for the Asians initially as they attempted to master the latest Western answer to personal hygiene. As far as we know no one fell off one our toilets, and met an untimely end.
Not only were the Eastern Travellers mystified by the various urinals. I was amused to see when I made a visit to the toilet at the bottom the hoist while visiting South Africa’s Table Mountain. In the urinal a picture of someone sitting on top of the urinal and defecating. A red circle with a line through was posted alongside explaining this was not the correct way to use this apparatus. How someone mounted this device to carry out his bodily function would have been a sight to behold. They say travel broadens the mind.
Love from Christchurch,
Wally
As a youth I was very fortunate in that the home that I was brought up in actually had a bathroom. It was also fitted out with a full sized bath, and in one end there was a built in shower which covered about half the length of the bath. You may ask, what’s all the fuss about. Well back then, not all homes had an amenity such as a bathroom. Any bathing at home without this facility would be difficult, and carried out with the aid of a small tin bath. Back then you bathed best way you could. You picked your time, and if you were lucky, in front of a fire. In our home, and located in the same bath room, there was also a flush toilet, as well a  washbasin. As an added luxury, a hot and cold water supply was also piped in.
At this period bedrooms in both private homes and boarding houses were in the main supplied only with a washstand. This had standing on it, a large wash basin, together with a matching jug. These came as set, and would contain a couple of gallons of cold water. Many rooms also had a commode. This was a chair fitted out with a concealed a Jerry pot. This saved a many trip out in the cold to the bottom of the garden where the toilets were generally located. In my youth only about half of our town had sewerage system, most of the homes who were unlucky enough to be outside this service, relied on a weekly night soil collection. That was the reason toilets were outdoors, and situated some distance from the house.
Bathrooms were also a scarce item in Hotels or Boarding Houses. There would be a bathroom on each floor of any establishment. It would be rare thing indeed to find an en suite bathroom attached to any room back then. Another innovation was toilet paper. The toilet roll as we know it today was not a ‘must have’ item, in fact most homes substituted any kind of paper, magazines newspaper cut into squares and threaded on a string. The was one toilet brand sold that I remember and that was ‘Jeyes’. It came in a packet and the paper was shiny and in my opinion definitely not suited for it’s purpose. Anyway whole nations could manage without using toilet paper at all. This was India where I noticed, that when a visit to a toilet was made, a bucket of water was always taken along as well. I imagine other Countries have the quaint solutions to this toilet problem.
While off shore, I must mention the French. Their toilets are clean, but manned by a dragon. I got the message quickly that she required a fee before I was going to be allow to use their facility. I was surprised that the French were being so frugal to the end, when I picked up my one small square of toilet paper, but only after I settled my account.
The china throne that the West has adopted, is not the what is used in the East, they prefer to squat. Many countries only go as far a making a couple of foot pads in the toilet room, no that’s not correct many places do not run to a room but are only screened. Our throne must have presented a problem to the early Eastern travellers when Asians first started to visit here. But ever resourceful, they just stood on the seat. The footprints on the toilet lids, initially puzzled the cleaners, but in time they worked it out, as did the Eastern tourists. But it must have been a an exercise in dexterity for the Asians initially as they attempted to master the latest Western answer to personal hygiene. As far as we know no one fell off one our toilets, and met an untimely end.
Not only were the Eastern Travellers mystified by the various urinals. I was amused to see when I made a visit to the toilet at the bottom the hoist while visiting South Africa’s Table Mountain. In the urinal a picture of someone sitting on top of the urinal and defecating. A red circle with a line through was posted alongside explaining this was not the correct way to use this apparatus. How someone mounted this device to carry out his bodily function would have been a sight to behold. They say travel broadens the mind.
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