Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Hirschsprung Museum, or, Revising the Status of Denmark, or, Feverish Paranoia

You will find this hard to believe, but sometimes we despair. Yes, despair. There are so many toilet photos, and so little time!

Luckily, Mother Nature has her own way of bringing equilibrium, and ensuring that toilet blog posts happen with a modicum of regularity. A dastardly virus infection has brought the Privy Counsel to a halt. However, as life and strength slowly return, we are seizing the opportunity to do a blog post while we're still officially too sick to do any actual work, but healthy enough to sit upright.

Denmark isn't all it's cracked up to be.

[This is where we elect not to make any tired Shakespearean jokes, having whacked out quite enough of those over the years. You're welcome.]

We have decided to revise our previous definition of Denmark as "Everyone's Favourite Toilet Country". Granted, Danish bogs have many good points, especially if compared to the unabated horrors of engineering and design that constitute British bathrooms. But, when you come to look closely at the matter, you find that nearly every single museum toilet in Denmark has a particularly vicious kind of tap - the tap that would be a mixer tap, but isn't. The subjunctive mixer tap, if you will. Once you realise this, it gives the entire universe an unsettling, Matrix-like quality. (This could just be the fever talking, but bear with us and see if you don't start seeing chinks in the programming.)

It's a right mindfuck, this one. There is a single tap (not, thankfully, two separate ones (the horror!)), but the crucial function of the true mixer tap - making it easy to quickly find a pleasant temperature - is lacking. One still has to twiddle two separate knobs, losing the hygienic advantage of being able to operate the tap, should OCD and/or personal preference so dictate, with one's elbow, wrist, or other body part that isn't habitually used to touch the face, thus obstructing the path of transferral of dastardly microbes to one's mucous membranes. Instead, one has to use both hands to twiddle the knobs! The! Screaming! Bloody! Horror!

This crucial function of the mixer tap - enabling one to not touch things that other people have touched while washing one's hands - seems particularly desirable when one has endured a virus infection able to mimic exactly the symptoms of the kind of hangover you get after five beers on an empty stomach, FOR FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT . You will forgive us if we rant.


Everything else is ok.
Except all the tissue is bleached. Bleurgh.

The door and coat-hooks are fine.

The above pictures are from the Hirschsprung Museum in Copenhagen. This beautiful art gallery has got some lovely paintings from the Romantic era, some paintings which brought on a collective rant of red-hot feminist rage among our party, and some lovely soothing holiday scenes. All in all, a spiffing museum! (APART, OBVIOUSLY, FROM THE HORROR-INDUCING SUBJUNCTIVE TAPS.)

The Hirschsprung Museum - here it is, in all its neoclassical glory!
With a charming Dane with a charming Danish bike!
Image from

We went to a lovely restaurant afterwards, where we enjoyed a very charming toilet and got sloshed on some rather excellent wine (not necessarily in that order), but we can't remember what the restaurant is called, so we'll have to tell you about it another time.

Before we move on to the festive video, let's give you a list of Danish places that have what we have just termed subjunctive mixer taps, just to prove we're not crazy:

The National Museum of Copenhagen
The bed-and-breakfast where Semi-Intellectual Friend stayed once
Amalienborg Castle
Sct. Clemens Brewery, Aarhus
Café Jorden, Aarhus

We have more of these bastards in our archive - just you wait!

Festive video - Gillian Welch, Elvis Presley Blues

Related Reading
For the sake of fairness, a couple of Danish toilets that have totally ok, non-subjunctive taps:
The Maritime Museum of Denmark - Festive Things That Are Red
The Royal Library - Caitlin Moran: Our Favourite Non-Toilet-Related Person! (This toilet, on the other hand, had ghastly cubicles with a distressing lack of privacy.)
Det lille Apotek - Big Beers and Small Toilets in Everyone's Favourite Toilet Country (As you can see, however, this toilet was weird in many other ways.)
All posts about Denmark, ever

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