Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Stalking, Part II

Luckily our generous relatives have two bathrooms, to allow us more scope for creepy stalking. Imagine a hunter, who's been idly taking potshots at tame, fluffy rabbits in an enclosed space, suddenly being let out on the savannah among the wild animals. That's how we felt. Scary stuff. Here are the results:

A scene of unbridled domesticity

We're all in favour of having two sinks. It significantly reduces the risks of hygiene-related conflicts; indeed, scientific studies show that adding an extra sink to your bathroom may reduce toothbrush-in-the-eye stabbing incidents by as much as thirty-four per cent

We're always in favour of bidets, as well. And black toilet seats.

Phwoarr, and comic books!

Gratuitous tap leching

Dornbracht taps are like the [insert favourite car brand] of plumbing!

Final verdict? Hurrah!

Related Reading
Stalking, Part I

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Stalking, Part I

Do you like comic books? As observant readers will know, we like comic books.
We also have very brave relatives. They allow us into their house and let us creep around taking pictures of their bog. Repeatedly. Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on this excellent bathroom!

In this house, improving literature is always within easy reach

Everything is either stripy or chequered, and often full of comic books - we like!
Hang on, is that a creepy stalker behind the shower curtain? Remind us not to go there for dinner again.
Related Reading
Stalking, Part II

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Lavoire of Love

Every now and then one comes across something so mouthwateringly delicious that one wants to run around in circles shouting, "Hey, this is bloody fantastic, and I'm not gonna shut up about it for the next hour!" Indulging in cultural activities recently, we stumbled across this gorgeous object. Don't you wish you had one of these babies to wash your mangy old face in when you're hungover? We certainly do.

Lavoire, 1890s, Malmöhus Museum
 This particular beauty is apparently called a lavoire. According to a frustrating Google search, a "lavoir", without the feminine e, is a type of construction for washing clothes. This is patently not true of the dainty contraption above, but unfortunately we can't find any information other than scraps from Google Books. Though to be honest they're fairly thrilling scraps: one book is called The Countess and Her Daughter (pretty saucy title for a Wednesday night!) and contains the titillating words, "Sylvia learned to wash herself in segments". Another one is called "Knock in the Night", and appears to be a source of very interesting information indeed; we might have to return to it another time.

For more pictures of gorgeous and/or baffling hygiene contraptions, have a look at this post.

Also, Intellectual Friend, if you're reading this, please write us an informative email about the the difference between a lavoir and a lavoire, because we suspect that you know all about it. 

Related Reading:
Academic Excesses

Monday, 16 July 2012

Thanks for Sharing

Yesterday's city wall technicalities left us exhausted. It's time for some comic relief! Cool-as-S*** Friend sent us this amusing picture from the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London.

Communication is so important
Says Cool-as-S*** Friend, "What are your feelings on toilet phone calls?"

Sunday, 15 July 2012

We Stand Corrected

Readers, we have been reprimanded. You come to us for toilet information, expecting it to be well researched and accurate. Well, we got sloppy with our research. Turns out we were wrong on many counts regarding the city of Toruń. We apologise.
Intellectual Friend smacked our fingers and gave us a bit of a lecture. Here it is:
No doubt the bombing of 1703 was particularly destructive to the town. However, I think I might have to question and challenge several of the details coming from that Historien om Sverige, no doubt a useful and entertaining work but perhaps rather too, ahem, populärhistorisk.

For some reason probably involving money and madness, the Polish nobility had just elected as new king some Saxon prince, which would explain why the armies defending against the Swedes were both Polish and Saxon. So I guess the Poles were fighting too, having had by then a century of wars against Sweden behind them and one or two previous sieges of Toruń. Except that some Polish forces started to ally themselves with the Swedes, the better to oust the Saxon king once they realised he wasn't that much of a good idea.

As to the length of wall along the Vistula visible on that photo, they are in fact medieval (13-14th c. or something near), as are two ot three gates, one of which is visible on the photo. Actually this is a view from the south -- possibly and quite logically, maybe the Swedes were only attacking from the north? Some fortress towers and a number of houses, including the huge town hall, are also survivors from the late Middle Ages. Also there are bits and ruins of a medieval castle. Much of the destruction of castle and walls was apparently done way before, or way after, 1703, by Poles for whatever reasons probably involving madness and vodka.
Toruń: Ok fine, the walls date back from before 1703. Or after. Whatever.
I much more sympathise with the accounts of military hygiene and the use made of the vital virtues of vodka, which seem plausible enough and presumably are among the stronger aspects of the book! (If I can be allowed to indulge in such a review of a book (or whatever that is!!!) which I know nothing about!!)
In defense of the author of Historien om Sverige, Herman Lindqvist, we would like to say that he, despite not being a historian, writes entertaining and accessible history books, although we would personally desire a more frequent use of semicolons, and a more observant proofreader.

What's this to do with toilets, anyway, you may well ask. Let us, for the sake of hard-hitting academic research, revisit Intellectual Friend's reviews of Toruń toilets:

There's this one.

And this one.

Also, and here's where this post finally gets exciting, there is another Toruń toilet review coming soon!!!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Rocking Around the Toilet

After our recent frivolities it's time for some serious intellectual content again. As you know, the Privy Counsel gets excited to the point of cardiac dysrhythmia about cultural activities, high-brow as well as firmly low-brow ones. Kind, intellectual friends recently took us on an educational outing, to see some Bronze-Age rock carvings.

Rock carvings. Try as we might, we couldn't see any toilet-related activities depicted,
although pretty much every other topic is covered.

We can only approve of this!

Oooh, shiny! And hygienic! And stripy! That's three of our favourite things!

The soap smelled very nice

Not one but TWO sturdy coat-hooks.

That's eleven points, and Hygeia shivers with pleasure.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

We Go Underground

We received an email.

"Yes!" it read. (We just love messages that begin with "Yes!" They communicate such a positive, forceful attitude, don't you think?) "And [American Friend with the Cool Hair] might pop along too at some point if that's not a problem - you are in demand right now...
So - there is a very nice new bar opened underground which sort of resembles a Swedish sauna - fancy that?"

We replied saying "Zounds, yes!" or words to that effect, and off we went. The bar turned out to be called Sotano, and is situated right between Kennedy's, whose toilets we have reviewed before, and The Fort, a chic hotel.
It was a good night. The beer came in schooner glasses. Everyone's hair looked extremely cool. The toilets were excellent. Yes!

Rarely do we get the chance to feast our eyes on such a shiny toilet

Purists will argue that this is not a mixer tap since it doesn't offer a variety of water temperatures,
but the temperature on offer is still a pleasant one

Observant readers will have spotted that this is the same fragrant soap-and-lotion combo
as that supplied in Kennedy's

A stylish and functional coat-hook - we like!

Travel Fairy and [American Friend with the Cool Hair] enjoying their schooners

Et voilà, 13 points!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Simple and Efficient Cleaning

Semi-Intellectual Friend is, believe it or not, passionate about cleaning. As everyone knows, keeping toilets sanitary can be a bastard. However, there is now a very simple solution to all your hygiene worries, and what's more, it's entirely in line with yesterday's martial theme.

Behold, the kitchen gun/toilet grenade!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

War in the Time of Primitive Hygiene

As observant readers with good memories may recall, we have, thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Intellectual Friend, written once or twice about toilets in the Polish city of Toruń. Toruń seems like a very nice place; we wouldn't mind brandishing a pitcher of beer while shouting "Na zdrowie!" and generally making asses of ourselves there one day. You may thus imagine our horror when reading an account of the wars of the Swedish king Charles XII, and learning that the Swedish army more or less levelled this fair city with the ground in 1703!

Charles XII. Very particular about hygiene. Disliked Russians.
 Our source tells us that those marauding Swedes took several thousand prisoners of war (mainly Saxons; the Poles weren't fighting at this point), and made them tear down the city walls and towers. These were then sent to Sweden, where presumably they still stand. The army further got their hands on 140 cannon, 8,000 muskets, and a fat load of cash. To add insult to injury, they took all the church bells and sold them back to the good burghers of Toruń for a fortune.

Toruń: None of the city walls date from before 1703

Before we submit to despair and anguish on behalf of the poor people of Toruń, however, we should consider the Swedish army's hygiene regimen. Each army camp had proper latrine pits at a sanitary distance. Every soldier had to shave at least once a week, and officers had to make sure that everyone combed their hair and washed themselves and their clothes. Nobody was allowed - on pain of harsh punishment - to drink water from any well without first boiling it and adding large quantities of vodka. (This seems like a sensible precaution and one that we intend to implement ourselves.)

Charles XII's army also had highly progressive medical services. The sawbones didn't just hack people's limbs off, but was highly skilled at removing bullets and trepanning, and had a large supply of various medicines, mainly vodka, although a certain amount of opium was also available. "Those who couldn't either live or die I cut," the humane junior officer Robert Petre wrote.

"Harumph," says Hygeia, and goes off in search of her hand sanitizer.

"Your army smells. Please go in that direction."

Friday, 6 July 2012

German Friend Has Adventure, Is Delighted

We may have mentioned on a previous occasion that Midsummer was recently celebrated in certain parts of the world. German Friend went to Sweden to have a bit of an adventure and get up, close and personal with a urinoar. We'll let German Friend do the talking:

Pictures 1 and 2
Fact: In Sweden, all children have blond hair
Fact: In Sweden, being mean is frowned upon
Fact: In Sweden, all buildings have gables. Even the privies!

Pictures 3 and 4
Well, am I?
Hell, yeah!
A privy just to male-pee?
Just when I most needed it?
I'm practically bathing in awe!!

German Friend is impressed by gables

Blond Swedish person queuing for the toilet


A friend in need

We take this opportunity of quoting Morrissey at you. Are you ready? In the song The Boy Racer, Morrissey sings,

He thinks he got the whole world in his hands
Stood at the urinal
He thinks he got the whole world in his hands
And I'm gonna kill him 

We can only agree.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Maximum Toilet Satisfaction

 Life suddenly became very exciting. Kind friends took us to a Max burger joint to gobble some simple carbohydrates and improve our chances of dying on the toilet. Turns out Max is everything a hamburger establishment shouldn't be: preppy, hearty, and mindful of the environment. Be that as it may, however, the toilets were fantastic!

Outside the toilets: hand sanitizer! In case you left yours at home.

Extra back-up sink outside. Note the funky colours.

We wanted to take this soap dispenser home with us. (It was securely fastened to the wall.)

Close-up of the tap: motion-sensor of course!

Naturally, a splendid coat-hook

We weren't quite so enamoured with the air dryer, but you can't have everything

The photo simply doesn't do justice to the clean-ness of this toilet!

Check out the fastidiousness of this cleaning rota!

Are you holding on to something? The toilet paper was UNBLEACHED!

You may safely indulge in your complimentary coffee: the toilets are great!
 Hit us over the head with an excited halibut: these toilets get an unprecedented 14 points!


Sunday, 1 July 2012

A Completely Bathroom-Related Post

Because it's Sunday and we're feeling incredibly lazy, here's a totally gratuitous picture of Elvis.
He's in a bathroom.

Mmm, Elvis. Image from this site.

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