Friday, 14 July 2017

Friends Who Send Toilet Pictures, and Other Literal Life Savers

There are many reasons to write a bog blog post. It could be, for instance, that one is deeply committed to the ethos that the business of a bog blog is to analyse, discuss, and stare in disbelief at, toilets. It could be that one is too hungover to do anything sensible. It could be that one's friends are such exemplary correspondents that the flood of toilet pictures filling up one's archive is causing one panic of a magnitude equal to, or greater than, that which is caused by the fact that it is currently raining in the Antarctic. Or it could be a combination of the above factors.

Be that as it may, here are some pictures from Audiologist Friend's Australian adventure. That hearing-measuring toilet photographer writes:

Kolla in denna ljuvliga plats på jorden: botaniska trädgården i Brisbane. Grön utsikt vid handtvätten 
(Check out this lovely place on Earth: The botanic gardens in Brisbane. Green view by the hand wash)
Does this remind us of anything? Well yes, by Jove! It looks a lot like that toilet that Medievalist (With a Side-Interest in Roman Archaeology) Friend went to once in Singapore!

The interior of this sturdy yet hygienic bog reminds us of the one Australian Friend came across at a wedding once.

 Adiologist Friend's travels continue:

Ändhållplatsen på spårvagnslinje 96 i Melbourne 
(Final stop on tram line 96 in Melbourne)

Exemplary signage! Also, how clever to have toilets at the end of the tram line! Imagine if we'd had access to a toilet that time we threw up behind a bin in Hammersmith (how differently our life might have panned out!), or if Very Brave Friend had had one that time she had an accident on the night bus...

We move here into Epistolary Action territory, reproducing part of a conversation between us and Audiologist Friend.

Audiologist Friend: 
Who gives a crap-toalettpappret som finns överallt i Australien (iallafall i Brisbane & Melbourne) t ex det här caféet (mittenbilden). De två andra bilderna är från en musikstudio vi besökte idag 
När jag påpekade detta roliga faktum för min vän så förklarade han att det beror på att företaget donerar en del av sin vinst till välgörenhet! 
(The Who gives a crap toilet paper that you find everywhere in Australia (at least in Brisbane & Melbourne), for instance this café (the middle picture). The other two pictures are from a music studio we visited today
When I pointed out htis fun fact to my friend, he explained that it's because the company donates part of their profit to charity!)

The Privy Counsellor:

Audiologist Friend:
Haha såklart du har 
(Haha, of course you have)

Spare bog rolls and hand lotion! Woof!

Lots of spare toilet rolls! And booze! A hundred million points!

We move now from the dusty, snake-riddled colonies to good old Blighty, where Jonny has been at it again. That addled-yet-desirable young bachelor writes:

The new Gusto restaurant in York's new toilets a week before launching to the public
No mirror selfie as I didn't want them to be able to identify the leak

Those are certainly very luscious toilets! However, we know what our readers want, and that is weird pictures of Jonny. This had us seriously worried. Accustomed to regular illustrations of Jonny's fine physique, what will our readership do if deprived of their heart's desire? We may get a mutiny on our hands!  Luckily, we had this gem in our archive - a picture of an Australian life guard, courtesy of Audiologist Friend! Woof!

We just love that Audiologist Friend has obviously taken this picture on the sly, while at the same time making sure not to include the life guard's face, thus protecting his privacy


Today's Festive Video is intended to reflect the fact that many of our friends live far away from us, in a different country or even on a different continent, and that we wish they were nearer. It is also intended to defiantly show Shewee Fiend Friend that there is no limit to how vulgar our taste in music can get, and no depths to which we will not sink when it comes to country music.

Festive Video - Rednex, Wish You Were Here

Related Reading
All posts featuring Audiologist Friend

That time Medievalist (With a Side-Interest in Roman Archaeology) went to a toilet in Singapore:
All Mouth and No Trousers - Sichuan Food in Singapore

That time Australian Friend went to a wedding:
HTFU: A Journey through an Australian Dunny

All posts featuring Jonny

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

In Which the Privy Counsel Goes Ballistic

In moments of being hungover, fatigued, or simply unable to find anything worth watching on Netflix, it is - though we say so ourselves - extremely refreshing to browse through old posts of this bog blog. Not only does one get the chance to chortle at some particularly outraged rant or clever turn of phrase, one may also reflect on the awesomeness of the various members of the Privy Counsel. As we once so very eloquently put it, sneakily referencing Bridget Jones, we like to think that we manage to keep on keeping on thanks to a network of friends, connected by social media (telephony is just, like, so nineties).

We particularly enjoy it when we can combine friends from different contexts, making for a richer, more nuanced experience. The most rampant example of this was of course the infamous Shewee new year's party in Shoreditch in the year of our Lord 2013, which became almost like a seminar or a panel debate, with Australian Friend, Shewee Fiend Friend, Very Brave Friend, and some dude called David discussing different aspects of public urination. There have been other instances. In April this year we managed to go to the pub with Tudor Friend and Jonny (who counts as a friend for administrative reasons) in York, a not inconsiderable feat of social engineering.

You may imagine our delight when, last week, we returned to York and managed to fit Jonny, Shewee Fiend Friend, our Italian friend whose toilet we reviewed back in 2012, Jonny's friend who finds cool coins in the ground, and some random medievalist we came across lurking in the Yorkshire Museum gardens, into the same house and get them all drunk at the same time! Sometimes, when sitting back to contemplate our own competence, we just baulk at it. Positively baulk, we tell you. (Or is that bark? Sometimes we get confused.)

For reasons of public decency we are unfortunately unable to show you pictures from this impromptu meeting of the minds, but we have - thank God - toilet photos! Let us take the many exciting bog pictures from our most recent sojourn to the beautiful city of York in no particular order, and start with The Habit.

This popular café bar in York is where the friendship between us and Shewee Fiend Friend really started to blossom, or perhaps more appropriately to ferment, so many years ago we'd rather not think about it, after we lurched to the bar and ordered the second cheapest whisky. We appreciate Shewee Fiend Friend for many reasons, not least her capacity to call bullshit when we find ourselves in the grips of self-delusion (this happens more often than even our regular readers would perhaps believe), and are immensely grateful for this whisky-fuelled blossoming, or fermentation.

A useful and informative toilet sign

Next, a gander at the toilets in the Yorkshire Museum. As readers who have been with us since the beginning will be aware, this excellent museum toilet was one of the first bogs we ever reviewed, back in the autumn of 2010! Bog blog fans wishing to revisit the original review may do so here. We'd venture to claim that the only thing that's changed in the past seven years is the toilet roll dispenser, which is now of the Tork Smart One variety. (For really rampant readers, we wrote a review of this toilet roll dispenser here. You can also read about another example of a museum wielding a Smart One here, in a post making many interesting remarks about male nudity.)

Things could be much, much worse

We don't actually like this sort of coat hook, but it will do

This type of lock breaks very easily, as we discovered to our chagrin when trying to lock the door of another cubicle. This lock was possibly even worse - though the smell definitely was not - than the one in the airport in Istanbul, where we once waxed poetical and ate a poppy-seed pastry in the hope of achieving a mild narcotic effect, only to be sorely disappointed (though we did at least get to wash our hands).

We heartily recommend a visit to the Yorkshire Museum, though we would like to point out that inspecting the Viking exhibition in the company of medievalists - some of whom may or may not be in their mid- to late thirties - is a slow and sometimes painful process, particularly when one is already halfway drunk and becoming increasingly bewildered.

At this point we must share some very sad news with you. Although we enjoyed a thoroughly festive visit to an old favourite haunt of ours, the Brigantes pub in York, our hungover fumbling caused us to delete the pictures! Doooom! Let us reassure you by stating that, although the toilets have been renovated, the smell (and, intriguingly, the soap dispenser) remains the same. If you are so inclined, you may peruse our October 2010 review here.

Perhaps this may cheer us all up: the toilet in a bike shop slash café called Bicis y más! We have seldom come across a toilet in the British Isles that we appreciated more! It may be mostly due to relief at our hangover finally lifting, but we thoroughly enjoyed our sunny visit to this place, and would argue that the loo is easily a contender for the title Best Toilet in England! No mean feat considering the crown has been held unchallenged since 2011 by Café Treff in Ambleside. (The competition, to be fair, has not been exactly fierce.)

This is not the best kind of mixer tap, but the friendly décor and helpful maps on the wall make up for it

A useful cork board

A reassuring amount of spare toilet rolls

Let us have one more picture before moving on to the Festive Video. Please make sure that you are sitting down, and have a cooling drink at hand, for things are about to get rather exciting. Are you ready? Behold - a photo of Jonny's ankle! Woof!

As we have remarked on a previous occasion, we've seen many pictures of Jonny's naked legs over the years. We hadn't previously seen this splendid sock, though! Note, also, the rugged and manly scar - a souvenir from when Jonny did stupid things with a bike. As it turns out, both the Privy Counsellor and Shewee Fiend Friend have also done stupid things with bikes, but we were too drunk at the time of discussion to remember if we reached a definite conclusion about whose bike-related antics were the stupidest. Certainly Shewee Fiend Friend lost the most teeth, but there are other parameters to be taken into account, none of which we can now recall.

Actually, we have another very exciting picture up our sleeve! Remember when a picture of Jonny on a cannon very nearly caused the internet to suffer a collective apoplexy? We reproduce the image here, for your delight and edification:


Actually, Shewee Fiend Friend, who is prone to competitiveness, found a similar picture of herself! We feel obliged, here, to provide you with some context before showing it, and have copy-pasted an unabridged section from a conversation we had about the upcoming picture. We apologise in advance for any offence caused.

Shewee Fiend Friend: 
I can't find my other cannon picture
Actually it's a cannonball picture 
The Privy Counsellor:


They're piled in a big heap 
A heap of balls
And I stood on top and squatted like I was pooing them out 

I was pretty pleased with myself
Stopped that salivation dead in its tracks  
The infamous picture of Shewee Fiend Friend and a heap of cannon balls

We are confident that you share our hope that this becomes a battle between Jonny and Shewee Fiend Friend, with increasingly competitive cannon-related pictures filling up the internet.

You have waited patiently, and it is with endless delight and a defiant smirk that we prepare to present today's Festive Video. Since it turns out that everyone, especially Shewee Fiend Friend, hates and despises our taste in music, we thought we might as well give up on trying to maintain even a veneer of coolness, and just use the cheesiest video we could think of. If Shewee Fiend Friend had a favourite country song, we're pretty sure this would be it.

Festive Video - Shania Twain, Up!

Related Reading

A summary of the best posts of 2014 - a great year at the Privy Counsel, for many reasons:
"Time You Enjoy Wasting Is Not Wasted Time" - A Review of 2014 at the Privy Counsel
(Sample quote: "A new year, in which we haven't yet mortally offended anyone, or got way too drunk and spent a whole day quietly leaking bodily fluids and wishing for death, or burned the pasta")

All posts featuring Shewee Fiend Friend

Shewee Fiend Friend's very first post on this blog, the by-now classic

That time when we and Shewee Fiend Friend indulged in a thorough analysis of the state of male nudity:
Stark Raving Nudity

All posts featuring Jonny

All posts featuring pictures of Jonny's naked legs:
What Goes Around, Comes Around

The Comfort of the Familiar - Life, Jonny, and Everything

One Battle Won, But the War Ain't Over

Another post featuring balls of various kinds, and an almost unbearably exciting picture of Jonny:
Balls! It's Christmas

All posts featuring Australian Friend

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Orka! Literally Mounds of Toilets in Orkney

Orka! is a colloquial expression frequently used by surly Swedish teenagers. The most helpful translation is perhaps "I can't be bothered to". "Orka lägga upp massor med toafoton hela tiden!" is an example of how the word might be used in a sentence, perhaps by a tired and frazzled toilet blogger with a thousand cares and lacking even the energy to cut up a lemon for a restorative gin and tonic. (One splendid solution to this problem is staying in a hotel - preferably one situated in an area rich in the remains of roman latrines - where the staff will, for payment, cut up the lemon and assemble the gin and tonic for you, while you recline in the shade and read an improving book or perhaps send pictures of fruit to friends and acquaintances. Not a super economical lifestyle, but very, very enjoyable.) There are certain situations, however, when it becomes imperative to harden the fuck up and bloody well write a toilet blog post. Like when a friend sends a large amount of insanely exciting pictures, for instance.

As regular and perhaps even semi-regular readers are aware, our archive of toilet pictures is so full of long-forgotten, no-longer-identifiable, decomposing bodies (for bodies, read photos) that we imagine it as the crypt from the novel The Monk - no doubt for sane and healthy reasons. When Shewee Fiend Friend sent us a shitload of toilet pictures from Orkney, therefore, we thought FUCKING SHIT WE'D BETTER PUBLISH OR BE DOOMED.

We've simply cut and pasted Shewee Fiend Friend's text, interspersed with her pictures in the order she sent them. You're welcome.

So first of all. Orkney and toilets. Very satisfying experience 
There are public toilets everywhere. In every little village there's one. Even if only twenty people live in that village 
And they're all so clean!! Every one was super amazingly clean 
Here's one from Kirkwall 
Look how cool that is 
Stupid taps, but you can't have everything 
The sign implies that people disrespected the toilets, but perhaps they just needed a stern sign and then they cleaned up their act 
There was always toilet paper 
There was always a little bar of soap at every sink 
Variety of hand dryers 
Universally non mixer taps though 
And some women's toilets had extra goodies 
I feel I sampled a large amount and it's fair to say that random ones on the side of the road might not have extra amenities, but ones attached to pubs or museums did 
That was awesome


We're not even going to analyse this picture. It's too depressing.
Quick! Something to dull the pain! Where is the diclofenac?

Some also had showers 
So that is part one of my unexpected toilet adventure 
The second part is more exciting and will require more sifting of photos 
So there are 4000-5000-year-old sites right

So those is Midhowe broch, fortified residence with houses built on to it 
And it's all built with this lovely stone right, which they also used to build furniture, which is still intact

Little shelves and dressers and shit

Walled off rooms with benches 
Actually it's from a cairn but you see the same thing in residences 
The cairns seem to be built like their residences

This last one is Scara Brae 
You can see little sleeping chambers 
They slept curled up small 
Centrally is the hearth 
There's always a hearth

And near the hearths there are these rectangular boxes, sometimes in the floor and sometimes set above 
Those last three are the broch of Gurness 
And they're water tight 
There was always water and gross shit growing in them 
And there's usually a drainage system visible 
In Scara Brae and Midhowe it was obviously centrally planned, running through the whole settlement 
Ok so here's where it gets cool. In this last place, tomb of the eagles, there's a broch nearby where you can clearly see how the tubs and drainage worked together 
But I foolishly didn't get a picture. 
Well. There's an ingress where the fresh water comes in, and then it would be moved to the central tub, and dirty water poured out the drain 
Also there are these rubbish heaps of burned rocks 
So they're heating stones in the hearth, and then heating the water with the stones in main tub. For cooking or cleaning or whatever 
Back to Gurness 
I mean, this could be anything 
But the shape is suspicious eh 
You could put a bowl under that, and empty it

Maybe one like this

Or ceramic 
At the broch by tomb of the eagles though, you have this

That suspicious stone, whose shape we recognise only because we've already seen it in a seat-like position, is directly above the drain 
Which would be a very logical place to put a toilet 
Is this not awesome??!! 
Anyway, I was not on a toilet hunt on this trip at all, but the toilets were there to be noticed and praised 
So that is what I am doing 
Here are some more gratuitous beautiful pictures of landscapes

While we're doing gratuitous pictures, let's have a gratuitous picture of fruit! Hurrah!

For reasons not entirely unrelated to the window-cleaner we - despite knowing better - sprayed on our keyboard, we are experiencing certain challenges in terms of typing. We'd better stop here, though of course not before indulging in a Festive Video. It is a truth universally acknowledged that '90s music cures all ills. Let us perhaps have some haunting Celtic beauty, to go unacceptably pseudo-poetic.

Festive Video - The Cranberries, Dreams

(Here is an alternative example of haunting Celtic beauty.)

Related Reading
All posts featuring Shewee Fiend Friend
All posts featuring Scotland
All posts featuring Shetland shithouses
All posts under the label History lesson

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