Friday, 8 December 2017

Random Glimmers of Light

Do you ever find yourself hunkering down with an unreasonable amount of tea, vowing to stay put next to the teapot either until everything gets better or the zombie apocalypse arrives to end everyone's misery (whichever comes first)? We do, more often than we should probably own in a public forum. However, no matter how deep the darkness, there are always glimmers of light. For instance, nobody has yet sent a contribution to the New Year's competition, meaning that anyone who actually sends us a photo of toilet graffiti is guaranteed to win an autographed photo of Jonny. Guaranteed. Think about it.

There has been some confusion about the rules of the competition; rampant readers of our intellectual toilet blog have given us feedback via social media saying they have no idea what the hell is going on. We would like to reassure those persons that the rules are very simple:

1) Send pictures of toilet graffiti
2) Win a signed picture of Jonny
3) Live happily forever after, having gained your heart's desire

Or, in Jonny's own words:
I have another idea
As a New Years competition
From now until New Year people have to submit their ‘best toilet graffiti’
I don’t know if you get as much in the ladies as I’ve never been in there (well, once in high school) but it’s rife in the gents.
Prize is a signed photo of me?
 Jonny also sent us this teaser photo, to whet everybody's appetite. We have blurred it, to tantalise and entrance you:

We knowwwwww. WOOF!

If you weren't already fervently scouring your neighbourhood for toilet graffiti, remember the lonely hearts ad we wrote for Jonny back in 2014 which has, as far as we can tell, been reasonably effective (apart from all those nights spent crying into a ham sandwich which, we hasten to point out, are hearsay only - no conclusive proof of said sandwich-related activity taking place has ever been presented in a peer-reviewed forum): Jonny and a Public Toilet - A Treat for Single Ladies. Woof! Go forth and photograph graffiti!

In order to fill this blog post with content other than us semi-ironically perving on Jonny, we delved deep, deep into the dark and scary place we call our toilet-photo archive. What we found reminded us that there is, to get distastefully sentimental, a wide, beautiful world out there. Said world is profoundly problematic, unjust, and rampantly racist, but still. It does contain the occasional blue sky, lemon tree, and gorgeous bottle of wine. If one takes an interest in furthering the interests of women academics (here's a fun challenge: try googling "sexism in academia" without sighing wearily and turning to drink!), one may end up getting the benefit of a free trip to South Africa to attend a feminist conference. Sometimes, for the briefest of moments, life doesn't suck at all. It is our pleasure to present a rambling stroll through the toilets of Cape Town and its surrounding vineyards:

Hurrah! A toilet in South Africa!

At some point in 2016, we enjoyed some rather lovely wine and toilets at the Boschendal vineyard

Woof! What does this remind us of? That toilet in a hotel in Mora that comforted us when we were sad and tired and fed up with the patriarchy! Which, actually, we went to after we went to South Africa. To lessen the mindfuck, the copper sink also reminds us of one of the luscious loos we utilised when in Lithuania.

Our correspondent showing signs of rampant happiness in the toilet at the Babylonstoren vineyard.

Mixer tap! Of the subjunctive variety, popular in Denmark.

Some kind of charming farmhouse sink at Babylonstoren. Does it remind us of something? But naturally: the 1940s sink at the Castle Museum in York.

The charming farmhouse sink in context: next to a big fuck-off oven. Note rustic roof beams.

The South African wine inspires bonhomie and bonanza in even the most cynical toilet blogger. Hurrah!

Our correspondent's reaction on finding an excellent hotel bathroom at the Protea Hotel in Cape Town. The staff were super friendly, and we really can't recommend this place warmly enough.

This is probably the airport toilet in Cape Town. It could also be anywhere else in South Africa. The wine was REALLY good.

It does rather look like an airport toilet. Or does it? We're fucked if we know.

Look! We're back at Babylonstoren!

We enjoyed the friendly sunshine and the subjunctive mixer taps.

An ideal toilet in every way. Many, many points.

A charming Dutch Colonial window.

Nothing warms a hoary old toilet blogger's soul like warm African sunshine.

A breathtaking view of a South African orchard.

300 years of Delftware, found in the ground at Babylonstoren. We are, of course rather familiar with Delft tiles at the Privy Counsel. For instance, we came across it in that amazing toilet in Warwickshire that we visited with Tudor Friend, and also in a royal loo in Copenhagen.

This could potentially be an airport toilet in Dubai, that we potentially visited en route to Cape Town.
We note that we wrote to Shewee Fiend Friend at the time:
"Dubai airport, apart from being spectacularly vulgar, is creepy. The women are dressed in tents and one half expects the bearded airport staff in their Bedouin headgear and white pyjamas to call one a slut and insist that one cover one's hair".
Travel, like so many other things in the patriarchy, can be a profoundly disturbing experience if one is a woman - a calamity affecting roughly fifty per cent of the population. 

We can't remember where we drank this, but both the wine and the party were excellent. Now you know.

Close-up of the hotel room mixer tap. It worked flawlessly.

Another nice wine.

This is where it gets exciting! The conference centre toilets! Here some admirable paper towels.


A contender for the "Platonic Ideal of a Toilet" title. Shewee Fiend Friend's North American airport toilet would do well to start getting its game face on.

Our correspondent displaying signs of being pleased with the toilets and the 10 am conference champagne. If memory serves us the staff in the coffee shop on the ground floor of the Cape Town International Conference Centre were extremely friendly.

You know how sometimes you get drunk on mulled wine, sing cheesy country songs in the bath and realise you have no idea whether the neighbours can hear you, then write a bog blog post while still woozy? Today's Festive Video reflects that, and also reminds us that non-mixer taps are the Devil's work and one always works better than two.

Festive Video: Nashville, One Works Better

Related Reading

Jonny once went to a conference centre, and very exciting it was, too
One other time he went to an executive gents' toilet
Another time when Jonny was unreasonably dapper
All posts featuring Jonny
All posts featuring Shewee Fiend Friend

Posts featuring charming Delft tiles:
We Receive a Postcard
Blogging Something Rotten

A bog post featuring a list of Danish places that have what we have just termed subjunctive mixer taps, just to prove we're not crazy:
The Hirschprung Museum, or Revising the Status of Denmark, or, Feverish Paranoia

All posts featuring conference centres

All posts featuring airports

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