Wednesday, 30 March 2016

You Only Live Once, And Sometimes Even That's Too Much

We are prone to vaguebooking at the Privy Counsel. We admit it. More than once (for instance herehere, and here), we have been guilty of unleashing a full-on vague-whinge, mournfully hinting that things are "a bit grim right now" but refusing to specify what ails us.

Well, guess what. Things really have been grim - so, so, so, so grim - lately. We would actually quite like to tell you just how grim. But, this being a blog devoted to a) toilets and b) rampant intellectualism, we make a point of not boring our readers with tedious details about our personal life (except of course in the case of Jonny, who is, by the way, still single). So instead, we are going to forget our troubles by enjoying a rant related to a toilet which one of our correspondents experienced at a feminist conference not too long ago.

Said feminist conference took place at a place called Malmö Live. For readers who don't regularly keep up with the goss from southern Scandiwegia, Malmö Live is an incredibly ugly conference centre in Malmö, Sweden, which cost staggering amounts of the taxpayers' money, and now constitutes a daily blot or haemorrhage on the Malmö skyline.

Right up until the moment when some edgy young architect decided to outdo Hieronymous Bosch in nightmarish visions, and went and designed this, it was literally impossible to imagine an uglier building than Malmö Live. It seems that Malmö politicians like to pretend that they live in Sydney, or downtown Miami, and thus encourage the erection of gut-punchingly ugly wannabe skyscrapers, to help maintain this illusion. Thus, the historic harbour area of Malmö is rapidly being clogged up by hideous constructions of glass, steel and brick. The brutalisation of this culturally significant area will no doubt be regretted by future generations, nauseated by the sheer hideousness of Malmö Live and surrounding areas, but by then it will of course be too late.

Nonetheless, though the outside of Malmö Live is so ugly it makes you want to rip out your eyes and throw them in a vat of acid, the inside isn't bad. The conference areas are actually rather stylish and pleasant, with ear-friendly acoustics, and the toilets could be a lot worse.

This coat-hook passes our rigorous quality standards, being sturdy
and able to support a stuffed-to-bursting bag on a wet day.

The sinks are rather small, but the mixer taps are beyond reproach, and the soap smells nice.

Normally, the only colour we hate more than orange is brown, but we don't mind these orange doors. In fact, we find them rather festive. 

This toilet-roll holder is also beyond reproach, though the toilet paper is bleached.

Our correspondent indulging in a fulsome toilet selfie.

When things get really bad, we at the Privy Counsel look at pictures of Caitlin Moran until things feel better. Today, we felt the need to watch actual videos. Here's one that we found really helpful. If you, too, are struggling, have a cup of tea and watch this soul-soothing interview.

Festive video - Caitlin Moran's Moranifesto

Related Reading

All posts featuring Caitlin Moran

When things get REALLY bad, we especially recommend this post, in which we describe the group hug we once enjoyed with CatMo:
Caitlin Moran Really Does Make Everything Better

All posts featuring Malmö

Two posts featuring the colour brown:

Jazzing Things Up in Oslo
Brownian Motion, or, Brownout, or, A Brown Study - Semi-Intellectual Friend's Shower

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Go, Just for the Record

How are you, dear readers?
This is obviously a rhetorical question, since a blog is mostly a one-way communication channel. Still, how the hell are you? If you are unhappy, for instance if you live in a country where mixer taps are rarer than a unicorn in a paddling pool in Alaska after a nuclear meltdown, write to us and tell us about it! Or if you are happy, perhaps because you are in a country where hot water is pumped from underground and transported across the country in a massive communal grid, then don't hesitate to get in touch. As did for instance Audiologist Friend, that scion of hearing aids and toilet photography!

Audiologist Friend writes:

Här kommer veckans fångst. Det nya helt veganska fiket, praktiskt nog har det placerats granne med vår lägga* i rvk. Vad det heter? Vinyl såklart. 
(Here is this week's catch. The new totally vegan café which has been conveniently placed next to our pad in Reykjavík. The name? Vinyl, of course.)

*We have never actually seen the word lägga used in this way before. We reckon it is either a colloquial term for lägenhet, "flat/apartment", or an autocorrect error. If you are familiar with this term, either because you are linguistically aware or because you are one of the cool kids, do not hesitate to get in touch and reduce our ignorance.

A charming vista of a hygienic and festive toilet

A friendly ladder serves as a reminder of the fallibility of human nature

Hubba! A close-up of the actual vinyl player with an actual speaker! One is highly likely, on regarding this picture, to erupt in an exhortation along the lines of, "Slave, cease your cymbal-playing this instant and book us a flight to Iceland!"

We have had occasion to reflect, recently, on the subject of family. Ours isn't prone to owning wicker, but otherwise we subscribe to many of the views expressed in this Festive Video.

Festive video - Kasey Musgraves, Family is family

Related Reading

The post in which we waxed lyrical on the topic of the hot-water system in Iceland:
Power Trip: Hellisheiðarvirkjun

Posts featuring another lovely vegan café, Goji in York:
Goji in Goodramgate - Come for the Tea, Stay for the Toilets

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Educational Cake

Tally-ho, gentle readers, and congratulations - you are reading another post from your favourite bog blog!

Sexism is thick on the ground as ever, and the world continues to be plumbing-challenged, but here at the Privy Counsel, we keep fighting the good fight to bring you rampant gender equality, quality pipes, and amusing bloggery.

As our fans and friends know to their chagrin, a toilet blogger's life is filled with many, many non-toilet-related activities. Life and limb must be kept together, and bread for the day must be procured through toil and trouble and through much sweating of one's brow. Nonetheless, every now and then, when one is in the middle of procuring bread and wiping sweat from one's toiling brow, something amazing and plumbing-related happens. Like when this cake, to celebrate World Plumbing Day, suddenly turned up in our workplace, for example. That's right. A CAKE. TO CELEBRATE WORLD PLUMBING DAY! We didn't even know there was such a thing, but luckily, others did!

Cake! WORLD PLUMBING DAY CAKE! We didn't even know there was such a thing as World Plumbing Day, and then we found out through CAKE!

We have Tudor Friend to thank, as so many times before, for the following bog pictures. Let us get cracking without further ado! Tudor friend writes:

The tragic toilets at the Derby Indoor (Down-market) Market... Getting the loo roll from that place works best if you happen to be a contortionist. Not sure what the logic was there.
One could write a kick-arse country song about this, called "(I Am Not a) Contortionist Blues".
Meanwhile, in the Derby local history centre... That is not a filter, that's what happens when you walk in. Blue ultraviolet light. It's either pretending to be disinfectant, or they have raves often.

As far as we know, this kind of blue light generally indicates
a wish to prevent people from injecting intravenous drugs.

Tudor Friend has been very active in her toilet-informational activities lately - here is another gem from that delightful procurer of plumbing lore: Bathroom For Service Dogs Opens In Chicago Airport.

We don't know about you, but we feel an urgent need for a Festive Video featuring non-racist, non-homophobic, non-sexist and non-ageist sentiments. These kinds of sentiments are, in our world, the hallmarks of sane and normal people, but seem to be under threat all over the place.

The Brothers Osborne have been criticised for doing a music video featuring non-heteronormative love. Social media resounded, when the video was released, with the unstructured rantings of homophobes and haters. Rolling Stone magazine, indulging in more covert criticism, called the video "unorthodox". What they meant, of course, was "normal" - white, young, heterosexual love not being the only type of love that exists in this world.

So let's have a taste of an actual non-heteronormative country song, and rejoice in the possibility of sanity and normality. And rum, of course. We think that non-racism, non-homophobia, non-sexism and non-ageism should be celebrated, preferably often and preferably while consuming rum. AND CAKE.
Also we totally fancy the pants off the Brothers Osborne.

Festive video - Brothers Osborne, Stay A Little Longer

Related Reading
All posts featuring Tudor Friend

Two posts featuring our favourite Brothers Osborne song ever, Rum:
A Moderately Cheerful Update
Five Fabulous (And Frightening) Years: The Story of the Privy Counsel
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