Thursday, 30 October 2014

Halloween Horror - Drunken Graffiti and Mindless Lurching in Winchester

Are you afraid? Are you very, very afraid? It's totally up to you of course, but you really should be.

Regular readers may recall our pub crawl round the ancient city of Winchester with Shewee Fiend Friend, our favourite feminist academic, back in January. As well as enjoying the historical and cultural aspects of the city, we took the opportunity of getting sloshed on the terrific local ale, and sampling some really scary absinthe.

After consuming said scary absinthe, we lurched into the Black Boy pub. To be honest we don't remember a lot of what happened in this excellent establishment (we have a vague memory of a Christmas tree, and of talking to a very nice PhD student (or two?)), but Shewee Fiend Friend probably showed us all the weird stuffed animals tucked away in every corner of the pub, and then we most likely drank lots of beer. Oh, and at some point we wended our way to the toilets to take some photos, obviously. The results may be viewed below.

This sad-looking donkey is probably thinking that you shouldn't dress monkeys in kilts.
Personally we rather approve of the sand buckets. Safety first!

We call this still-life "Drunken toilet photography with poinsettia".
Do you also get shivers down your spine at the sight of non-mixer taps? Brrrr.

We don't know what this contraption is, but we have photographic, if rather blurry,
proof of there being one of those towels that you pull. We're fucked if we can remember what those fuckers are called,
but we thoroughly approve of them.
Also we find the graffiti on this thing, whatever it is, rather charming.

"Get a life, tossers!"
We couldn't agree more.

One approvingly spots the word "wanker" scribbled on the wall.

We love this.

"Ice-fishing rules:
- Only go Nov-Feb
- Take crampons
- No pushing, running or petting"

One of our personal all-time favourite bathroom graffiti quotes, this classic bears repeating:
"Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll
Speed, weed and birth control
Life's a bitch and then you die
So fuck the world and let's get high"




Although unrelated (as far as we know) to the Black Boy pub,
we find this notice in St Swithun's Church REALLY CREEPY.

Happy Halloween! We're off to bang some coffin lids and engage in a supple danse macabre down the local graveyard. Have a festive video!

Festive video - Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Cryptkickers, The Monster Mash.
(We have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA why it says "Elvis Halloween Disco" on the video. But it's a pretty damn festive idea, n'est-ce pas?)

Related Reading
Previous Halloween posts:
Delirium Tremens: We Indulge in Paranoid Halloween Horror
It's Halloween - Time for Some Spine-Chilling Horror!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Privy Counsel Pin-Up: Jonny! (Try to Restrain Yourselves.)

Ugh. The universe is doing that thing again where it's dark, and there's rampant misogyny everywhere, and bad things are happening left, right, and centre. And then, to get its filthy, bigoted, depraved kicks, the universe goes and adds pericoronitis to the already severely fucked-up state of things. Pericoronitis, in case you were wondering, is roughly as much fun as being tied to a tractor and pulled through a muddy field.

However, we mustn't let things get to us, or they will have won. (Identity of "them" to be determined at some point in future when the painkillers have worn off, and the smell of decomposing skunk has lessened somewhat in severity.) So let's cheer everyone up by enjoying a Privy Counsel Pin-Up! If memory serves us right (and there's an extremely large likelihood that it doesn't), the last one we did was in December last year, when we engaged in shameless perving over James Purefoy.

Celebrities are all very well, but in actual fact, celebrity culture can feel cloying, and shallow. So we thought we'd be a bit innovative and use a totally ordinary dude as a Pin-Up! And who better than Jonny! Jonny, for those of you who don't know him yet, can often be observed lurking in the Hyde Park area of Leeds. He is an all-round lovely dude, if a bit disgusting at times. He's also got totally smashing biceps, as you can see, and has the good taste of frequently posing in public toilets. Jonny counts as a Privy Counsel Friend for administrative reasons.

Jonny: an all-round lovely dude, if a bit disgusting at times.
If that got you feeling romantic*, ladies, check out this picture that Tudor Friend sent us!

Tudor Friend says:
"I do not want to know why anyone thought this would be a good idea."

*We're not quite sure what Jonny's relationship status is at the moment, but he tends to be very popular with the kind of wanton females who frequent this blog. So, if the type of dude who poses in public toilets gets your blood up, GRAB HIM WHILE YOU CAN.

What with all the darkness, misogyny, etc., we really, really, really, really, really need a festive video. Then we're off to add more rum to our tea.

Festive video - Chuck Berry, Johnny B. Goode

Related Reading
Jonny's finest hour:
Jonny and a Public Toilet - A Treat for Single Ladies
Another festive contribution from Jonny:
The Comfort of the Familiar - Life, Jonny, and Everything
A totally disgusting contribution from Jonny:
What Goes Around, Comes Around
Other posts involving Jonny:

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Lord Privy Seal Brings a Badly Needed Touch of Class. Also Monkey-Friendly Soaps.

What with having a monkey among our resident staff, our preferences in the soap department are firmly centred in the orangutan-friendly end of the spectrum. Although we love sandalwood soap to the point where we go all giddy and have to sit down and have a brandy just thinking about it, we have yet to find one made with certified monkey-friendly palm oil.

Monkey gives these products the thumbs-up!
Last time we wrote a piece on soap made with sustainable palm oil was in January 2012. You'd think the world would have hardened the fuck up and stopped destroying orangutan habitats since then. However, mankind is apparently quite prone to not hardening the fuck up, and has happily continued to kill orangutans in order to enjoy cheap microwavable popcorn, instant noodles, and washing powder. (Honestly, sometimes the fucked-up-ness of the human race makes us want to down large quantities of gin and indulge in morbid rants while waving our hands about in a thoroughly cynical manner. And we don't even like gin.)

However, we managed to procure some totally monkey-friendly soaps recently! Monkey capered with joy at the sight of them, clapped his hands and went to show them to his friend the Lord Privy Seal!
But forgive us, we haven't introduced the Lord Privy Seal yet. This honourable member of the Privy Counsel was brought round to HQ one lovely day in August by Exuberant Archaeologist Friend. Once there, he got drinking with Monkey, ended up too legless to leave, and has been with us ever since. We're very happy about this - the Lord Privy Seal adds a badly needed touch of class to our establishment!

Monkey and the Lord Privy Seal both approved hugely of our choice of soaps. We got a cinnamon, orange and clove soap from the Visionary Soap Company, which contains fairtrade oils and spices, and smells lusciously Christmassy. Feeling the need for more hygiene-inducing lovely soap, we lurched into the Body Shop and grabbed a mango soap and a satsuma ditto. These soaps are all made with sustainable, monkey-friendly palm oil - three cheers for that!

Monkey and the Lord Privy Seal approve of these lovely soaps
At the Privy Counsel we reckon that, if life hands you lemons, then make yourself a really kick-arse rum and lemon cocktail. Or, you know, eighteen. In fact, Monkey and the Lord Privy Seal have already started, out in the kitchen. We'll join them in a minute, but first, let's have a festive video! We've had this one before, but we just love this song so much we'll hear it again:

Festive video - Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Soda Soap

If you'll excuse us, we'd better go check on Monkey - sounds like he's getting a bit rowdy out there. What? Monkey - no! Not on the fucking stairs! If you need to throw up, go do it in the bathr... Jesus Christ.

Related Reading
Other soaps we love, not all of which are, sadly, monkey-friendly: Soaps, Lovely Soaps
Totally Monkey-approved soaps: Not Nearly Enough Monkey Business
More products from the visionary Soap Company: A Visionary If Not Strictly Toilet-Related UpdateMore info on sustainable palm oil from the WWF
A list of companies that use sustainable palm oil
Palm oil - the hidden truth lurking in your home
A festive video involving lots of seals
All previous posts on soap

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Exuberant Archaeologist Friend Is Not Impressed with Italian Toilets Again

Feeling wordly-wise and ever so slightly hungover, we've got some advice to offer today. Firstly, we would like everyone to know that, if you make the decision to use mint tea as a mixer for rum (because you can't go to the supermarket as it is raining and you've just sprayed your totally fucking fabulous hair into perfection), add either lemon or honey. Never both. (We don't know why his should be but have been assured by Shewee Fiend Friend that it is a big, big mistake to add lemon and honey. (Luckily, friends of ours rather awesomely brought Prosecco, meaning we didn't, in the end, have to sit there drinking rum with mint tea in it and trying to decide whether to add lemon or honey.))

Secondly, we would like to send a greeting to the many, many SEO spammers in the Ukraine who frequent our blog and leave comments. We hope you're all ok in the Ukraine, despite political unrest, and wish you all the best. However, we unfortunately only publish genuine comments, so actually you're wasting your time. Go and spam someone else!

Now for some more Roman toilets. Exuberant Archaeologist Friend writes (a translation follows below, as usual, although do seize this opportunity to brush up on your colloquial Swedish!):

Den första är från vårt hotellrum och den var världens i särklass mest obekväma toalett att sitta på. Ringen var alldeles för liten (dessutom av porslin) så att man basically satt på sina sittben istället för sitt rumpfläsk. It hurt. 
Notera att tanken sitter högt ovanför toaletten och inte har något lock (precis som alla andra toalett-tankar i det där jävla landet). Detta gjorde att det porlade som en förbannad bäck när den satans tingesten fylldes på. Under denna tid (ca 10 min) kunde man inte spola alls. Plus att det fucking stänkte vatten från den. Jävla skit. Notera också att man inte kunde luta toalettlocket helt tillbaka eftersom någon synnerligen obegåvad person hade beslutat att placera toalettrulle-hållaren precis bakom toaletten. Så locket nuddade vid ens rygg konstant. Kallt och hårt. Jätteskönt. 
Det fanns också en bidé för att ytterligare ge badrummet den där retro-känslan. Handfatet var ok, men tvålen alldeles för små. Men det fanns ju en blandare. Det verkar de i alla fall ha lärt sig använda i Italien. Gud vare tack och lov.

(The first one is from our hotel room, and it was the world's most uncomfortable toilet to sit on. The seat was too small (and made of porcelain), so that one basically sat on one's sitting bones, instead of on one's arse fat. It hurt.
Note that the tank is situated high above the toilet and doesn't have a lock (like every other toilet tank in that sodding country). This meant that it gurgled like a fucking stream everytime the bloody thing was filled up. During this time (about ten minutes) one couldn't flush at all. Also, it fucking splashed water on one. Fucking hell. Also note that one couldn't lean the toilet lid back completely since some singularly witless person had decided to place the toilet roll hollder just behind the toilet. So the lid touched against one's back constantly. Cold and hard. Lovely.
There was also a bidet, to give the bathroom even more of that retro feel. The sink was ok, but the soaps were too small. However, there was a mixer tap. They seem to have learned to use those in Italy. God be praised.)

We are not impressed.

A bidet, for that retro feeling!

One doesn't exactly leap with joy, despite the mixer tap.
It could just be the hangover, but it could also be the distressing marble-impression plastic.

A most regrettable state of affairs!
Nästa är från Nationalmuseum. DE HADE OCKSÅ RÅD MED RINGAR PÅ SINA TOALETTER!!! Min lycka var total. Denna toalett spolade medelst vattenfall. Det var otroligt. Kaskader av vatten som sköljde bort precis allt. Bajsborstar göre sig icke besvär. Tvålet luktade också gott. Men här hade de inte fattat det där med blandare. Kanske hade alla pengar gått till toalettringsbudgeten, vad vet jag.

Det kommer mera.
(The next set is from the National Museum. THEY COULD ALSO AFFORD SEATS ON THEIR TOILETS!!! [This refers to the Tre Scalini café near the Piazza Navona, where the toilets had seats, unlike those in the Capitoline Museums. Read all about it in There Is Too Much Going On. This Post Will Probably Give You a Migraine.] My happiness was complete. This toilet flushed using a waterfall approach. It was incredible. Cascades of water flushing away absolutely everything. No need for a toilet brush. The soap was also nice. But they hadn't quite got the hang of this mixer tap thing. Perhaps they blew all the money on the toilet seat budget, I don't know.
There is more coming.)

Hurrah! A toilet seat! And does our eye spy a toilet seat sanitizer thing as well?
We love those things, despite not believing that they contribute to hygiene.
There was a lovely one at Café Hollandia in Malmö, that we enjoyed using once.

Again, we're happy that we won't be around when the plumbing,
inevitably, needs fixing, and all the pipes are behind the wall.

We can't help but find it kind of festive when the pipes are too narrow to handle toilet paper, and you have to put everything in the bin. Then again, it is also distressing, especially if one should happen to be sober.

Technically, this counts as a mixer tap.
One does, however, appreciate a good lever, for reasons of hygiene and disability friendliness.

Funnily enough, Exuberant Archaeologist's mum has recently been to Macedonia, a land rich in potholes and statues, but sadly lacking in pipes of a sufficient circumference to be able to handle toilet paper. This practical woman and her friends obediently put their bog roll in the bin provided when there was a sign telling them to do so. When there was no sign, they flushed everything. This is exactly what we would have done. Kudos, Exuberant Archaeologist Friend's mum!

Exuberant Archaeologist Friend's mum posing with a festive Macedonian miniature toilet.

Today's festive video is Rum and Coca Cola. This is how we and Exuberant Archaeologist Friend envisage spending our retirement: drinking rum and Coca-Cola (needs must when the devil drives, of course, but coke is a much, much better mixer for most alcoholic drinks than mint tea) and, possibly, working for the Yankee dollar (because we don't imagine ever earning enough money to build up an actual pension).

Festive video - The Andrews Sisters, Rum and Coca-Cola

Related Reading
Exuberant Archaeologist Friend's previous contributions from the Eternal City:
Up in the Air - Introducing Exuberant Archaeologist Friend
There Is Too Much Going On. This Post Will Probably Give You a Migraine.
On toilet brushes, and the use of them:
Toilet Etiquette, or, Ominous Verbs, or, Shit Happens
All Italian Toilets

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Stark Raving Nudity

Having suffered various traumas* recently, it is with unbridled joy that we sit down to compose a post for our beloved bog blog. What's more, we sit down to compose a post for our beloved bog blog in the smug confidence of having been informed that Halloween is nearly upon us, thereby eliminating the risk of us suddenly waking up, panicked and hungover, and realising that we need to produce a Halloween special THIS MINUTE OR IT WILL BE TOO LATE TO JUMP ON THE COMMERCIALISED CULTURAL BANDWAGON. (Like happened last year, for instance, and the year before that, and... You get the gist.) Rest assured, dear readers, that we have the Halloween special post thing totally in hand! It is not, however, today's post.

Today is all about Greek nudity. We have discussed, on several occasions, with Shewee Fiend Friend, what a rampant shame it is that male nudity is almost obsolete in popular culture. The female body is sexualised and displayed in all sorts of contexts, but when does one get to perv over a tasteful male nude? Despicably seldom, that's when! The Victorians were all over the male nude, erecting statues left, right, and centre, but the taste for that sort of thing seems regrettably to have gone the way of the lace doily, the aspidistra, and macassar oil.

Contemplating, one fine afternoon, a statue of the Dying Gaul, we and Shewee Fiend Friend agreed that there should totally be more male nudity everywhere! Greece is a good place for enjoying statues of people being comfortably minimalist in their approach to clothing, although there are museums around the world that cater to the nudity-inclined. Glyptoteket in Copenhagen is a favourite one of ours, though there is of course no pleasure like going to the original source - the National Archaeological Museum in Athens! This museum really is a wonderful, wonderful place, filled to bursting with so many, many of the kinds of things that we at the Counsel like to perv on most - Bronze Age swords, gold funeral masks, urns, loom weights and, above all, statues of naked Greeks!

The staff, also, are nothing short of heroic. We rolled up at the Archaeological Museum one afternoon in July, having spent the morning at the Ancient Agora Museum, and carrying the sweatiest rucksack in the whole history of mankind. Seriously. It looked like it had been for a swim in the Aegean Sea. It was heavy. It was dirty. It was, basically, the rucksack of someone who's been going round for several hours doing nothing but perving on Greek statues, and sweating. It was very unpleasant. The lady in charge of the cloakroom didn't even blink. She gave us the sweetest smile, and accepted the rucksack without grumbling! (For another example of kind and friendly Greeks in public service, see Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts, But Totally Trust the Toilet Attendant.) We were immensely grateful to not be thrown out for being sweaty, uncouth barbarians!

So, after this wordy and learned preamble, let's have some Greek nudity! (Again, some pictures may be slightly sideways. Remember, please, that looking at sideways pictures is a valuable lesson in creative thinking.)

*Traumas were, in no particular order, grammar-, earwig-, and misogyny-related.

Ha! This handsome and hygienically-minded dude is wielding a strigil!

Dogs, strigils and naked Greeks are some of our favourite things!

HUNKA HUNKA! Seriously. We can't get enough of this dude.
(The camera is probably there for a reason. Wouldn't surprise us in the slightest 

if people tried to snog the delicious statues, if left unattended.)

The toilets in the National Archaeological Museum were considerably less fabulous than the rest of the museum, but considering the very high levels of fabulousness being maintained by said museum, perhaps we will forgive them.

A depressing toilet WITH NO FUCKING SEAT, but there's a very festive flush pedal on the floor!
(For more toilets with no seat, see There Is Too Much Going On. This Post Will Probably Give You a Migraine.)

No complaints regarding the handle or lock.

This coat hook is not the kind you rave over, dream of, and take home to meet your mother, perhaps,
but as coat hooks go, it is perfectly okay.

We really, really, really like this toilet-roll holder, the Tork Smart One. Read more about it here.

This is a wall-mounted flush mechanism - turns out the  flush pedal on the floor was a fake! A FAKE!

Here is an unrelated picture of Exuberant Archaeologist Friend perving over enjoying looking at a bust of Socrates.
The picture is called ERMEHGERD SERCRATES.

Tudor Friend has helpfully provided today's festive video. It is pleasantly rich, we believe, in Eastern mystery and rampant festivity, although perhaps a little lacking in Greek nudity.

Festive video - Anonymous, Awesome Violin performance in Toilet

Related Reading
Previous posts from Athens:
Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts, But Totally Trust the Toilet Attendant
Unbridled Stoicism - the Ancient Agora Museum
Greek nudity in Copenhagen:
Hanging Out with Hygeia at Glyptoteket
Perving on the Classics in general:
Arachne-Philia and German-induced Euphoria
More strigil action: Privy Counsel Pin-Up - James Purefoy
More nudity, courtesy of German Friend: The Spirit of Christmas - Urinals, Mixer Taps, Relief

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Wales Cannot Wait

We actually have several very important things (some of which are champagne-related) to be getting on with, but it appears that Wales cannot wait. Bogsley Hansson Friend, continuing his tour de force, sent us exuberant photos from what we believe is a Wetherspoon's pub in Cardiff. The message read,
So apparently this is the greatest bathroom in Cardiff. If not all of Wales and the free world. With a couple of Welsh gangstaz - Deebo and Hev-5. Deebo's publicist (Hev-5) says if this doesn't end up on the blog "it is a travesty of justice".
No, we don't understand that, either. But, being eager to avoid travesties of justice, it seemed that the need to publish the following pictures was urgent. (Also, we're as prone to procrastination as the next man. Or most probably quite a lot more.)

Very festive baskets of flowers and bright, festive lights: a promising exterior!

Eager to have the opinion of someone whose judgement we trust, we asked a friend, who is intimately acquainted with Wales, what she thinks. The evaluation read: "When I used to go there, there was an ornate fountain in the Ladies'. Couldn't say if still there as it's been a few years, sorry!"
We love how the world is so small that one can ask a friend the opinion of a particular pub toilet in Cardifff,
where another friend has just been!
Bogsley Hansson Friend claims that this is a dance-off.

Extraordinary country, Wales, what? We haven't, regrettably, been to Wales a lot, but we do have very fond memories of an afternoon spent at Tesco's in Merthyr Tydfil. Anyway, Bogsley Hansson Friend assures us that there will be more drunken photos from Wales. We can only just contain ourselves - can you?

Let's have a festive video.

Festive video - Going up to Merthyr!

Related Reading
Bogsley Hansson Friend's last post from Wales: Capering Round Caerphillly Castle
More Wales-related alcohol consumption: Foul Play, Also Fowl Issues
On festive bus drivers: Of Mixer Taps and Spiritual Solace

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Capering Round Caerphillly Castle

Bogsley Hansson Friend, having visited Caerphilly Castle, sent us some jovial pictures with which to delight end edify our readers. "Caerphilly" is one of our favourite words ever, being also, apart from a medieval castle with kick-arse bogs, a cheese. We love cheese an awful lot - though not, obviously, more than Elvis, or our mother. (An attempt to decide whether we love cheese more than mixer taps resulted in mass destruction and carnage being wreaked upon Privy Counsel HQ.)
We have previously explored the theme of the medieval garderobe in a post called The Royal Toilet at Kronborg: "A Foul and Pestilent Congregation of Vapours". Actually, we found even more photos of medieval toilets in our archive the other day, but then unfortunately there was a gust of wind, coming from where we know not, and the torch went out, and we had to crawl back to the office on our hands and knees, bumping into several unpleasant objects along the way. (At one  point, a skeletal hand grasped our calf. More on this in our Halloween special issue.) Those photos will therefore have to wait. In the meantime, enjoy these ones:

The traditional hole-in-a-plank set-up. Why deviate from a successful concept?

An edifying close-up of the hole. (Bogsley Hansson Friend is nothing if not considerate!)

Oooh, a charming mullioned window!

White walls, slanting sunlight - this is like something out of an interior design magazine!

We didn't get a commentary on these bogs, but we're assuming that these are the visitors' toilets.
Very nice they look, too.
Since the theme of today's blog post is medieval, let's add a photo sent to us by our favourite insane medievalist, Medievalist (with a Side Interest in Roman Archaeology) Friend, who says, jauntily: "Best sign I've ever seen in a toilet."

If you, like us, spent all six seasons of The Sopranos wondering what in the name of arse cannoli actually is, wonder no more! "Cannoli are Italian pastry desserts. The singular is cannolo (or in the Sicilian language cannolu, plural cannola), meaning 'little tube', with the etymology stemming from the Latin 'canna', or reed." There.
(From Wikipedia, obvs.)

Today's festive video is about a man who likes going to the lavatory and, we suspect, doesn't much care what it looks like or whether it has mixer taps:

Festive video - Monty Python, Lumberjack Song

Related Reading
Another toilet in a Welsh castle: The Privy Counsel Book Club - At Home
A memorable pub evening, during which Wales was mentioned more than once:
Foul Play, Also Fowl Issues
More historic toilets:
The Historic Toilet Tour of York
The Royal Toilet at Kronborg: "A Foul and Pestilent Congregation of Vapours"
All posts on medieval plumbing

Thursday, 2 October 2014

There Is Too Much Going On. This Blog Post Will Probably Give You a Migraine.

Following the dramatic reduction in mansplaining levels after our recent rant*, we had intended to spend some time indulging in the kind of hardcore intellectual pursuits which we complained the other day that we were prevented from getting down to, due to being permanently pissed off, because of all the mansplaining. But, as is often the way, we received word of a most exciting cleanliness campaign in India, the festiveness levels of which caused us to yearn, ache and long for tending to our beloved blog.

In a drive called Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, efforts are being made to improve sanitation in India. As anyone who has ever inhaled the smell of sewage, coming from what is supposed to be a river, knows, this is a really, really, really good idea. According to one source,
A United Nations report in May said half of India's population still practises open defecation - putting them at risk of cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid. The resulting diseases and deaths cause major economic losses, and a World Bank report in 2006 estimated that India was losing 6.4 percent of GDP annually because of poor access to sanitation.

Another source tells us that "At least 30 lakh [Editor's comment: that is, if we remember rightly, three million] central government employees working across the country and hundreds of school and college students will take the pledge of cleanliness at different functions". If you've had a rough day and need cheering up, have a look at these pictures, from the Times of India, of said government employees doing just that! We're not sure what the brooms are supposed to accomplish, but you can't deny that any effort to improve sanitation in "the subcontinent" (as India is always, irritatingly, called whenever a journalist needs a synonym for "India" and can't think of one) is worthy of a massive HURRAH!

One Indian administrative officer has reportedly cleaned his office every day since 1993. Every daySince 1993. You can imagine how clean it must be! This sign, outside his office, purportedly provides information on how often the dude cleans his office, and how long he has been doing it for.

*Said reduction in mansplaining could also be due to the fact that we have been too busy to actually talk to anyone.

We could have ended this blog post here, but why should we?  Remember Exuberant Archaeologist Friend's spirited account from Rome? Let's have more of that! (Also, we know that several of our friends are eager to improve their Scandiwegian, and we reckon this is a golden opportunity for them to brush up on their colloquial Swedish.)
Här är nästa skörd:

De första är från de kapitolinska museerna. Det saknades toalettring på ALLA toaletter. Fanns inga krokar, så det var tur att [min man] var med och kunde hålla grejerna. Tvålet var bra, luktade supergott. Det verkar som att de lagt alla pengar på väldoftande tvål istället för på toalettringar. Skabbigt deluxe.
(Here is the next crop: 
The first ones are from the Capitoline Museums. There were no seats on ANY of the toilets. There were no coat hooks, so it was lucky that [my husband] was there and could hold all my stuff. The soap was good; it smelled really nice. It seems they spent the entire budget on fragrant soap instead of toilet seats. Minging deluxe.)

We like these taps, but this kind of modern basin gives us the shivers:
surely it makes it really hard for the cleaners?

We usually reason, pragmatically, that a toilet that HAS NO FUCKING SEAT is actually more hygienic,
as the surface which can be dirtied is smaller.
It is still no pleasure having to use a toilet with NO FUCKING SEAT, though, obviously.

Oh, dear. A pipe disappearing into the wall?
We're stupendously glad that we won't be around when this set-up, inevitably, goes to shit and has to be repaired.
Nästa är från ett kafé vid Piazza Navona; Tre Scalini. Jämfört med alla andra toaletter i Rom så var detta ett högteknologiskt tempel. OCH DET FANNS EN RING!! Dessutom reste den sig automatiskt när man ställt sig upp och sprutade sedan ut sanitetsvätska på ringen**. Utmärkt. Tvålet luktade gott. Detta var den klart bästa toaletten.

Mer följer!
(The next set of pictures is from a café at the Piazza Navona, Tre Scalini. Compared to all the other toilets in Rome, this was a temple of high-tech. AND THERE WAS A SEAT!! Also, it was folded up automatically when you got up, and sanitiser was sprayed onto the seat**. Excellent. The soap smelled nice. This was totally the best toilet. 
There is more coming!)
**Because we weren't sure how this worked, we asked for clarification, and were given the following explanation:

Sanitetsvätskan sprutades lite snett uppåt så att det skulle typ falla ner på ringen när den rest sig. Vätskan kom från den delen av toaletten där spolknappen skulle ha suttit om det varit EN NORMAL TOALETT!

(The sanitiser was sprayed sideways upwards, in order to fall onto the seat when it had been folded up. The fluid came from the part of the toilet where the flush button would normally be, if it had been A NORMAL TOILET!)

The toilets in the Tre Scalini café in Rome: laudably hygienic!


There is no hot water, but on the other hand there is no non-mixer tap insanity happening, either.

Another pipe in the wall.

These instructions are very, very clear.

We bloody love covered tissue!

Did the mention of the Piazza Navona set off a bell in our head? Did it ever? Bridget Jones is a label on this blog, after all, so here, for your reading pleasure, is an extract from The Edge of Reason (as in the book, obviously. The film, as every right-thinking person knows, doesn't count):
"Hello, Bridget, this is Colin Firth." We all jumped a foot backwards. It was Mr Darcy. The same posh, deep, can't-be-bothered voice that he proposed to Elizabeth Bennet in on the BBC. Bridget. Me. Mr Darcy said Bridget. On my answerphone.
"I gather you're coming to Rome to interview me on Monday," he went on. "I was calling to arrange somewhere to meet. There's a square called the Piazza Navona, sort of easy place to find in a taxi. I'll meet you about 4.30 by the fountain. Have a safe journey."
"1471, 1471," gabbled Jude, "1471, quick, quick. No, get the tape out, get the tape out!"
"Call him back," screamed Sharon like an SS torturer. "Call him back and ask him to meet you
in the fountain. OhmyGod."
The phone had rung again, we stood there rigid, mouths open. Then Tom's voice boomed out, "Hello, you pretty little things, it's Mr Darcy here just calling to see if anyone could help me out of this wet shirt."
(Helen Fielding, The Edge of Reason. London: Picador, 1999, 159-160)

We reckon this is as good a time as any to revisit the wet-shirt-scene from Pride and Prejudice.

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