Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Five Fabulous (And Frightening) Years: The Story of the Privy Counsel

Our sincerest contrafibularities! We have no memory of what we were doing on the day (ranting, no doubt, and perhaps drinking rum - possibly at the same time), but the Privy Counsel turned five on 18 October!

Five years! If we had had cake to celebrate with, it would most likely have looked like this.

Things have been grim of late. So grim, in fact, that we have repeatedly felt the need to google pictures of syphilis symptoms, just to remind ourselves that there are things we don't suffer from (although one Privy Counsel member does in fact harbour a case of bona fide genital herpes - however, we intend to stay true to our promise to keep the identity of this person a secret to our dying day (said promise does not, obviously, prevent us from dropping tantalising hints solely for our own amusement)). There are some good ones, for instance, here (do a page search for "syphilis", then click on the links).

The marvellous thing, though, about having access to a loose collective of intellectuals, connected by social media, is that something wonderful is bound to turn up sooner or later.

This cake would also not be incongruous at the Privy Counsel.

Last night, for instance, we learned that Kick-Arse Suffragette Friend has an exciting new project on the go.

Also Australian Friend surpassed herself in rampant intellectualism and invented a new word! Quizzlement - you heard it here first! The definition of the adjective is as follows: "Quizzled. adj. The state of perplexed beguilement imposed by a person on her admirer, through an act of mischievous ambiguity."

Then we suddenly remembered that BLOODY HELL WE HAVE BEEN GOING FOR FIVE YEARS. Let us tell you the story of the origins of the Privy Counsel!

This totally appropriate cake just screams "THIS ONE! YES! LET'S HAVE IT!"

Once upon a time, there was a country full of crap plumbing. Let's call it "Britain". Said crap plumbing was the cause of a pretty much constant stream of grumbling, mumbling, and outright ranting. One night, in the pub, Enlightened Friend suggested that we stop ranting and start a blog, if only to spare our friends from having to constantly listen to us moaning and bitching. We thought the notion was an excellent one, and set to enthusiastically, publishing no less than three posts on the first day.

The first post was called, bravely, Mixer Taps - the Controversy, and was short but loquacious. It said, simply:

Most British people see no need for mixer taps, as when they do exist, they don't work anyway. The rest of the world disagrees. The controversy continues.

Huzzah - our very first image!

Blog post number two, sporting the witty title Toilet Paper - Puppy Love (setting the tone for our happy habit of punning in an unrestrained manner), discussed the insane British obsession with quilted toilet paper. This groundbreaking essay posed the question:

Where does the British obsession with soft toilet paper come from? Why does bog roll have to be quilted? (Of all things, why quilted?) Is it due to the humiliations suffered during the Second World War, when millions of Britons were forced to keep a stiff upper lip while wiping their bottoms with newspaper?


The third blog post on this auspicious date, The Victorians - An Edifying History Lesson, described the Victorians as "a barbaric people who delighted in such unhygienic and downright dangerous practices as sideburn cultivation, wall-to-wall carpet installation, and lace-curtain twitching". Needless to say, this is now the standard view of the Victorians in all respectable academic circles.

Victorian toilets - pretty, but violently unsound.

After these initial - one could even say probing - posts, we moved swiftly on to reviews of museum toilets, starting with the Yorkshire Museum. We remember lurking nervously with the huge, clunky and LOUD camera we used to carry around in those days, on a wet October day. 

Mission accomplished without us being reported to the police or even, surprisingly, being openly accused of being perverts, we continued with the Castle Museum, where we spotted what is possibly the most amusing sign in the entire universe; a sign that perfectly summarises the unbridled lunacy of British plumbing:  

This sign unfortunately doesn't exist anymore.
Believe us, we have been back to check.

Pretty soon we were reviewing places like the disabled toilet at the Centre for Medieval Studies in York, and it didn't take long before we achieved legendary status among the depraved, the socially awkward, and the intellectual (i.e. our friends, and maybe five other people who clearly need to get off the internet and get a life).

We noted happily that this was "a toilet fit for Medievalists".

And now we've been at it for five years!

When we started this blog, it was specifically to rant about crap plumbing, because Privy Counsel HQ was situated in the UK, where people seem have a hard time realising that the 19th century like, ENDED. Now that we are more Scandiwegian-oriented, we have very little to complain about, plumbing-wise, and have taken to rant more about other things, like feminism. It appears that human rights is another area where people have a hard time realising that the 19th century ended and that we are, in fact, living in the 21st century now. It would be nice, we think, if everyone could at least step into the 20th century, both in terms of plumbing, and human rights.

We would like to take this opportunity of getting embarrassingly sentimental, weepy, and vapid, and expressing our heartfelt thanks to all our friends and comrades! Some of you have been with us from the start, some have joined along the way. Without the Privy Counsel Friends (and assorted cronies, hangers-on, and passive bystanders) sending us toilet photos, ranting with us, and dispatching emergency pictures of Elvis when times get tough, this bog blog really would not be possible.

Now, let's have a festive video before we embarrass ourselves further. We've had this one in a previous post, but really, can you ever get enough rum? Well, quite.

Festive video - Brothers Osborne, Rum

Hasta la vista!

1 comment:

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