Friday, 30 November 2012

Reminiscences of Nice

The weather is doing that thing where it creeps inside one's longjohns and causes paralysis. We yearn for sunnier climes, and reminisce about happier times. For instance, there was the time when Australian Friend broke a toilet. It was nice and warm then. Or even before that, when we stayed in Nice and it was all hot and humid like a sauna, and we failed to find any ice-cream. On the plus side, we also failed to get robbed and get food poisoning. Here's the toilet in the hotel.

Nothing to cause distress here


They actually seal the toilet, so you know it's guaranteed clean when you arrive. Not even our OCD goes that deep, but it's nice of them to make the effort. The toilet roll passed the Olivia Joules test.

An assortment of toiletries. And, most importantly, a mixer tap!

So where is one supposed to plug in one's hairdryer? People have such weird priorities.

Is it just us, or do the tiles look like they're made of lizard skin?
We had a very enjoyable stay in this exceptionally clean hotel. Regrettably, our brain's too frozen to be able to calculate the points.

Hotel Nice Riviera
47 rue Pastorelli
06000 Nice

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

We Aim to Please: Interactive Toilet Game

Do you like video games? We don't, particularly, but if you do, and you are male, you are in for a treat. A company called Captive Media has developed a urinal-based game, incorporating a "natural joystick". This allows pub-going blokes to play a game while relieving themselves. (Also they are undoubtedly, in their enfeebled, drunken state, extremely receptive to advertising, making the game popular with beer manufacturers.) What rocks our boat, however, is that the game reportedly encourages men to aim straight! Watch Captive Media's demo video here:

For a more level-headed, unbiased version, veer towards the BBC website. (Favourite quote: "You don't have to touch the plumbing.")

Instructions are easy enough for even your average beer-swilling Neanderthal to follow.
Image from Newrisingmedia.
Further reading
(Don't) Aim for the Stars
A Festive Update
Ladies, Don't Take Life Sitting Down
Potty Putter: Putting Tings into Place

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Going South in Korea: Suwon Toilet Museum

Several people have hinted that they would like a report on the South Korean toilet museum. Well, you lucky, lucky bastards, your wishes have come true - hold on to your hats, here's the report!

The toilet museum in Suwan, which is housed in a toilet-shaped building, officially opened earlier this year. The building was previously the home of the former mayor of Suwon, Sim Jae-duck, affectionately known as Mr Toilet. A representative of the park says, "A toilet can be a cultural space. It is an important space for health, sanitation and water conservation." We couldn't agree more. According to another reliable source, the museum "has a lot of pictures dating back to the 1950s of public toilets in Korea". We salivate at the thought.

Here is the BBC video on the subject:

(Personally, we find the Reuters video funnier - it features several delicious puns.)

The toilet museum is, naturally, toilet-shaped. Image from Intellasia.

Frankly, Rodin's The Thinker had it coming. Image from Flippies.

Read more in our favourite smug newspaper, The Guardian.

Further reading:
Handwashing Gangnam Style 
More Asian Toilet Eccentricity
World Toilet Association

Friday, 23 November 2012

When I Walk Through That Door: A Rock'n'Roll Special!

It's Friday night: Let's have some rock'n'roll! Here's a special review-slash-toilet-song-update for that extra festive rockin' feelin'! (Caution, slippery surface - there'll be consonants droppin' all over the place.)
The guys and dolls at the rock'n'roll café in Linderöd not only play rock'n'roll tunes all day, every day, and serve a mean shrimp sandwich, they also extend the vibe to the toilets! This beauty of a bog has a red, white and black colour scheme for that wholesome retro feel.

Great balls of fire, this is an exciting toilet!

There's a whole lotta shakin' goin' on in this mixer tap! We're inclined to wax lyrical here:
She bent down and turned around and gave me a wink
She said, "I'm gonna mix it up right here in the sink"

 It smelled like turpentine and looked like India ink
I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink

(We seem to remember the soap smells really, really nice as well.)

Hot dog!
It's such a crazy, crazy feelin'
I get weak in the knees
My poor old head is a-reelin'
As I go deep into the funnel of love

Hooked, as it were, on a feeling.
(This may perhaps not strictly count as rock'n'roll, but we couldn't resist the pun.) Great coat-hook! Love it!

Although it's always crowded
You still can find some room
For broken-hearted lovers
To cry there in the gloom

Well, we wouldn't exactly describe this place as "gloomy".
Check out the comical hatstand!

If we coulda left home at a quarter to nine
Woulda had fun and plenty of time
We got started just a little bit late
Hope this won't be our last date

Don't forget to stop at this excellent café next time you're out cruisin' in your pink Cadillac - we don't know about you, but at the Privy Counsel, we feel inclined to rock around the clock! (Just a shame they don't serve polk salad.)

Further reading
Rock'n'Roll Toilet

Linderöds Motell
Tollarpsvägen 66
298 94 Linderöd

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Konditori Hollandia: Sumptuous Luxury and Sweet Revenge Go So Well Together

Our faithful readers won't believe this, but Blogspot had the temerity to claim that we had used up our space quota for pictures, and wanted to charge us for using our own blog! Honestly! (For an example of our opinion on having to pay for things which are supposed to be free, read this.) Luckily we found a way around it. We are now celebrating with a veritable cornucopia of dazzling and sumptuous pictures. (In your face, Blogspot!) Many thanks to Logoped Friend for the tip, which went something like, "Oi! Did you know there are Versace tiles at Konditori Hollandia?" Beautifully enunciated, of course. (Yes, you heard right. Versace tiles. And there is an English term for "logoped", but it's so long we can never remember. All we know is, it's not "speech therapist".)

Voilà, here are pictures from Konditori Hollandia in Malmö.

One positively salivates at so much disability-friendly sumptuousness.

One simply couldn't ask for a better toilet.

From Villeroy & Boch: A mixer tap with bells on.

With bells on!

Oooh, sumptuous!

Soap and hand towels from Tork - hurrah! (More info on Tork here.)

It doesn't, so to speak, end there:
Bog roll and toilet seat sanitizer, also from Tork!

We love toilet seat sanitizers. We doubt very much that they contribute to actual hygiene,
but they do satisfy our OCD. Oh yes, they do.

The main event: the Versace tiles! Let's have a collective "Ooooooh"!

And again: "Ooooooh!"

A close-up. Ooooooh.

We weren't quite sure which tiles were supposed to be Versace at first,
so we took a photo of the floor tiles to be on the safe side.

Oh yeah, and the coat-hook was pretty great, too.
We give this toilet about a million points, at a conservative estimate.

Konditori Hollandia
Södra Förstadsgatan 8

Monday, 19 November 2012

Why Today Is a Toiletally Important Day

It only happens once a year, so make sure you celebrate - today is World Toilet Day!
And what's more, it's Enlightened Friend's birthday - happy birthday, Enlightened Friend!

We gather this information thanks to the labours of Australian Friend.

[For a most informative video, see this, from The Age. It was originally inserted here as a video, but we find that the embedding code no longer works.]

We are thrilled to learn, from a very interesting newspaper article, that at the Western Treatment Plant in Melbourne, a cover designed to limit bad smells means that the sewage plant can harness bio gas, thus producing enough electricity to power 15,000 homes! Read the article, from The Age, here! Our favourite quote: "The cover's quite effective at controlling odours from the treatment plant." (We just love Australian accents.)

Did you know that the dual-flush loo and the black box on airplanes are Australian inventions? We didn't, either! But Australian Friend tells us that the big country down under is simply brimming over with water-saving toilets and mixer-taps! Imagine! Read an article about amazing Australian inventions here.

Monkey is a great fan of Australia, here represented
by a water-saving flush and a flip-flop - sorry - thong!
Since we're being all festive, let's have an amusing Australia-related video!

Festive video: Monty Python, Bruces

Might as well do another festive video, while we're at it. This one seems to be about some kind of loo (presumably a dual-flush one), and is subtitled, to be on the safe side.

Festive video: Muriel's Wedding, Waterloo scene

Read more about why World Toilet Day is important at the Water Aid site, or, if you're that way inclined, at the World Toilet Day site.

Further reading
World Toilet Day 2011: Taking Our Baths and Our Women 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Brownian Motion, or, Brownout, or, A Brown Study - Semi-Intellectual Friend's Shower

Yesterday was all about revolutionary tendencies and bringing down the bigoted bourgeoisie library toilet monopoly. As regular readers will know, however, we prefer to get our revolutionary activities over and done with during the week, so that we can relax on Sundays (historical precedence sanctions this approach), and maybe enjoy some cultural activity in the shape of a Toilet Song or two, or some interesting pictures. So we are devoting today, being Sunday, to mulled wine with a healthy dose of rum, and mulling over these provocative pictures of Semi-Intellectual Friend's shower in Thailand.

This is the common picture that any ordinary mug with internet access can view on Semi-Intellectual Friend's blog.

Artistically, this is a very interesting picture. Note the playful cascading of the water, and the subtle interplay between light and shade happening all over the delicately pink tiles, with their intricate floral pattern. The selection of toiletries doesn't live up to that of Mrs Smith, but perhaps that's all for the best.

The following pictures are exclusive to the Privy Counsel - you won't see these anywhere else, people!

Whoah! A very avant-garde angle! This is art history happening right in your face!

Water flowing upwards: pure surrealism.

Here we enter the dreamy hyper-realistic plains of post-post-modernism. Hypnotic!
Well, that was certainly thought-provoking, wasn't it? Enjoy this greenery-yallery hiatus while it lasts, and hold on to your hats - tomorrow is World Toilet Day, and we intend to get rabidly political again!

Further reading

If the literary is more your thing than the visual, get a description of Semi-Intellectual Friend's shower here:
It's Halloween - Time for Some Spine-Chilling Horror!
Revolting activities: Flush Tracker: A Revolting Activity

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Venting Our Spleen (Right Down the Drain)

Things have been way too cosy lately, what with all the festschrifts and wedding toilets. It's time for a rant. A proper, good old-fashioned, vixen-from-hell rant! The photos below are not from the Malmö Public Library. Oooh, why on earth not? you may well ask, eagerly anticipating conflict. Because they cost five kronor to use and the public toilets right outside are free, that's why. (Five kronor is about £0.5, or $0.7.)

We are very fond of the Malmö Public Library. It's well stocked with books and friendly, intellectual-looking librarians; has a children's section so cutesy it's positively sickening; and is by no means lacking in cleanliness and airiness. But there is no way that a visit to a library toilet costs the council five kronor, not when the average school dinner in Sweden costs 9 kronor to produce. Consequently, we must conclude that council politicians are running the toilets as a profit-making scheme, which is surely not the point of a public library?
What enrages us is that the people most likely to spend enough time in the library to actually need the toilet are society's most vulnerable members: the old, the young, and the unemployed. We have a mental image of council politicians joyfully rolling around in the money they have wrested from the feeble, malnourished hands of impecunious toilet goers.

Here's what the free public toilets just outside the library look like: 

It's not glamorous, but it does the job.

We actually like these handwashing arrangements. Except, obviously, for the vile hand dryer.

A good and sturdy coat-hanger

These fine toilets, right outside the library, are disability-friendly
and completely free to use. Image from
Malmö Stadsbibliotek: Good library. Shit toilets. Image from Idstories.
Ooooh, that cleared the air, didn't it?

Get more information about Malmö's public toilets here.

Further reading
Princely Bogs in Princes Street Gardens (A treat for you, Australian Friend!)
Saturday on Silver Street
Cowering in Copenhagen
A Note on Useful Gifts
Sing If You're Glad to Be a Dane

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Calm. Calm. Calm.

We are building up to a rant: please bear with us. In the meantime, enjoy these soothing pictures from the toilets on the first floor (second floor, in Swedish reckoning) of the Lund University Library.

Readers who know about the toilets on the top floor of the library
will know why we were relieved to find frosted glass!

Such a meditative pattern!

Light-hearted graffitti
You may also enjoy:
The Intellectual Streak Continues: Leeds University Library Bogs, or, Yorkshire Graffitti
Lund University Library: Festschrift to Intellectual Friend
Trains, Sweat, and Fears
Durham Semantics

Monday, 12 November 2012

For Better or Worse: A Wedding Review

We had the great pleasure, quite some time ago, of partying lavishly at the wedding of some very dear friends. However, the subsequent lavish-party-induced exhaustion meant that we regrettably never got around to posting the pictures. When we found out some time later that our friends were expecting offspring, we thought we'd save the pictures for the happy event! The son and heir having arrived safely the other day, the time has finally come to celebrate by posting the wedding pictures! Hurrah!

If the pictures are somewhat blurry, it's because we were having far too much fun to linger
in the toilets. Here is, at any rate, a mixer tap.

Tissue can come in handy in so many ways at a wedding.

How very festive: a yellow toilet!

We can't remember what our motivation was in taking this photo.
Possibly we thought it was a good toilet-roll holder. Or a bad one. What do you think?

We seem to remember being excited by this coat-hook at the time,
hurriedly photographing it before hurtling back to the dance-floor. Or possibly the bar.
If memory serves, the merriment happened at Villa Aquila in Kävlinge, Sweden. You didn't really expect us to be counting points, did you?

Related Reading:
Hwæt! For Better Or for Worse, Whether There Is a Toilet-Roll Holder Or Not, Etc.Memorable Toilets: One Whitehall Place
An Extra Crafty Update

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Filth and the Fury, or, Never Mind the Lavatories, Here's a Toilet Song

We've got a list of lavish lavatories as long as your arm, and will publish pictures in due course. Today, however, being Sunday, the mind craves not intellectual stimulus but rest and repose. Let us therefore relax with a Toilet Song.

Sex Pistols - Satellite

A suburban kid and ya got no name
You're too dumb baby and ya got no brain
I bet you're all so happy in suburbian dream
But I'm only laughing
You ain't in my scheme


I love you

I only ever listen when you're on the phone

From your safely-restricted-zone home
When I got nothin' better to do
Then there's always you
You're good for my shoe

Hey babe

I love you

You look at me and you just can't tell

You're looking like you've just come out of hell
Acting like a dirty lavatory
There ain't no bid for your chastity

Hey Baby,

I love you

I'm in love

I'm really in love

Try and join the scene but you're too obscene

You're looking like a big, fat, pig-faced queen
How did you figure that you'd be any use
when all you're gonna get is my abuse?

Hey babe,

I love you

You know I don't like where you come from

It's just a satellite of London
And when you look me in the eye
Just remember: I wanna die

Hey babe

I love you

I can't take no more, just stop

The Sex Pistols: Fine lyricists and authors of simply gobsmacking metaphors.
Image from Morrison Hotel Gallery

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Handwashing Extravaganza!

Jealousy really is the greatest motivator. Semi-Intellectual Friend recently started a blog, and we found ourselves insanely jealous of his foxy format and vigorous videos. Determined not to be outdone by a mere novice blogger who's very much the Watson to our Sherlock, we decided to get our heads round this video insertion thing, and found that it was laughably easy! We are now in the process of updating all our posts containing videos (a list of our favourites follows below). What's more, we thought that this was the perfect opportunity to document the many, many hospital handwashing videos out there! You're welcome!

Our favourite hospital handwashing video ever, all categories, is from NHS Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire, in collaboration with Northampton General Hospital and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Gangnam style!

For reasons that aren't entirely clear, there is a special sub-category of handwashing videos featuring hospital staff doing spoofs of Michael Jackson's Beat It. Our favourite one is by the Banner Desert Medical Center and Cardon Children's Medical Center, and features the immortal words "In and out of places touching everything / It doesn't take that long to make sure they're clean / So wash 'em / Just wash 'em", sung in a very pleasant soprano voice.

Jefferson University Hospitals does a very slick, flashy version, which manages to be educational while incorporating a covetable red PVC jacket and a board of bacteria names. Owww!

The staff at Gerber Hospital in Fremont, Michigan, do a cheerful, rocky video in which they promise to "wash my hands for you / Before doing your X-ray or catching your baby". The song was written by an actual hospital employee. Major plus points for the "cha cha cha" at the end!

If you're into arty, French, and just plain weird stuff, which many people are, you may enjoy the contribution from Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève.

A short and cheerful contribution from the Billings Clinic in Billings, Montana.

Finally, in the spirit of education, here's a video showing how to perform a World Health Organisation-approved handwash, which we find both funny and not a little dirty (and not just because of the cheesy jazz music). We're almost sure it's entirely accidental.

Oh, go on, then. Just one more. We love this lady's northern English accent! Sample quote: "Keep rubbin' until the alcohol handrub has dried."

Further reading:
More handwashing
Handwashing with Elvis
Important Public Information
A Semi-Intellectual Treat
Dirty People: We Wash Our Hands of Them!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Lund University Library: Festschrift to Intellectual Friend

It is customary, in academic circles, to honour scholars with what is called a festschrift when they reach a certain age or level of deafness. While we have no idea how old Intellectual Friend is (although we have a sneaking suspicion that his birthday falls during the slightly less dark and shadowy part of the year), and seriously doubt that he knows himself, we think he deserves a festschrift, firstly, for being such a loyal and hardworking contributor to the Privy Counsel, secondly, for generously providing moral support and spiritual solace to those in need, and, thirdly, for being made a Doctor of Philosphy!
Congratulations, Intellectual Friend!
We happened to be visiting the Lund University Library recently, and thought that the toilet on the top floor there made a suitably festive subject for a festschrift.

On first entering this holy of holies, we were annoyed that the light didn't work. On second thoughts,
we realised it was probably best that way, considering that one is on view to the outside world. Here one can sit and ponder, if one is so inclined, etymological mysteries, elves, trolls, and perhaps ale, while the people in the building opposite contemplate one's physical peculiarities. An ideal arrangement.

Close-up of the utterly charming window and its view

The toilet in all its glory. Oooh, look at the glory stick there, in its glory-stick holder.

Once again we find ourselves simultaneously horrified and delighted. Horrified by the scary hand-dryer,
delighted by the thoughtfully provided drinking cups. (Toilet blogging requires nerves of steel.)

We have this annoying feeling that "old soap" is supposed to be good for something...

The Lund University Library is housed in a magnificent Victorian brick building,
rich in nooks, crannies, books, and toilets. Image from Reseguiden
 This is clearly too solemn an occasion to bother about mundane things like points. Aallatti!!!

Related Reading:
Some of our favourite Intellectual Friend-related posts:
Blurry, Lopsided Archive Musings
The Intellectual Streak Continues: Leeds University Library Bogs, or, Yorkshire Graffitti
Cuteness, Intellectual Solace, and a Correction
Another Festshrift:
Kicking Anglo-Saxon Arse - Festschrift to Shewee Fiend Friend
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