Friday, 18 August 2017

Burning with a Low Blue Flame

It's when you find yourself having actual palpitations from frenziedly bidding on six stainless steel spoons in an online auction that you realise you need to get out more. As it happens, we haven't been anywhere more exciting, lately, than the local recycling centre. Our Mum, however, has! Visiting the clothes shop Danska kläder in the pulsating metropolis Linderöd, in southern Sweden, Our Mum managed to sneak into the customer toilet, and was awed and even dazzled by the splendour that awaited there:

Behold this piece of eclectic design and elaborate hygiene!
Speaking of palpitations, we had a rather fruitful conversation with Jonny, that sprightly young feller-me-lad, the other day. It went like this:

We know, we know. This awkward modern trend of referring to oneself in the first person is a nuisance and a botheration. However, we felt it incumbent to report that a colleague of ours is genuinely worried about the legality of our access to weird photos of Jonny. Upon being shown this screenshot, said colleague's fears were all, naturally, allayed.

We are actually not going to reproduce this image in full size, for fear of over-stimulating already excited readers

We know you're all frantic to know what role the old man in the photo played in this story. Don't worry, we have information! Jonny's thrilling tale continues:

He was quite friendly
Told me the soap wasn't working

Well. We never.

We actually have some rather splendid photos of historical toilets in our archive, and also a larger amount of toilet selfies from Jonny than our regular readers would perhaps credit, but we just don't have the energy to enthuse over them right now. The Nazis are too rampant. The world is too fucked up. The gin is too near running out, and we are sad.

The title of today's Festive Video, at any rate, is a given. You're welcome. (We'd quite happily launch into a rampantly feminist analysis of the lyrics, but we just don't trust ourselves not to go into a full-on nuclear rage, and reckon we'd best leave it till we have less gin in our bloodstream.)

Festive Video - Dolly Parton, Fuel to the Flame

Related Reading

All posts featuring Our Mum
All posts featuring Jonny

Many posts featuring rampant, murderous Nazis:
À la Recherche du Temps Perdu

The Hours and Minutes Ticking Away 

Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, and Knees 

If You Are a Medievalist in Your Mid- to Late Thirties, and/or Want to Save the World, This Is for You

Rampant Murderous Nazis Are Taking Over the World, But Here Is a Picture of Jonny In a Toilet, for Your Convenience and Comfort 

2016 in Summary: Holding on to Hope, or, We're Really Cunting Angry, or, Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! 

Good Times, Good Friends, Good People

If you, too, are feeling a bit down in the mouth, or perhaps other places, this helps:

We Cheer Ourselves Up, Again, Using Pictures of Caitlin Moran, and Greek Museums 

A toilet in the vicinity of Linderöd:

Perhaps Our Most Rampant Fit of Escapism Ever

Saturday, 12 August 2017

À la Recherche du Temps Perdu

Sometimes, we miss the nineties. At such times we recline pensively on our chaise-longue, stare wistfully out the window at the brick wall opposite, and feel an inescapable nostalgia for bootcut jeans, fax machines, and a time when Nazis were still considered bad guys.

Ah, the nineties. Remember Lauryn Hill's That Thing? Remember Ace of Base? Remember Indiana Jones? We would hate to be the age we were during the nineties again, and are supremely grateful for our current level of comparative maturity and relative wisdom, but some nineties phenomena, like the widely held stance that Hitler was insane and that a murderous government propagating a gibberish racist doctrine was about as welcome as herpes, are prone to make us feel ever so slightly maudlin after the third gin and tonic.

Let us enjoy some nostalgia-inducing toilets. We recently went to visit the church in Norra Åsum, in the south of Sweden, for perfectly sane and normal reasons. While there we snuck into the very hygienic toilet, and also enjoyed a casual runestone propped up against the wall.

Norra Åsums kyrka. Image from Wikipedia.

This stone insists that the very muscular Bishop Absalon had the church built, probably in the 1190s. The 1190s were, we imagine, like the 1990s, a time when the people were united in their conviction that psychos in uniform were, at best, comical, and, at worst, a threat to public safety.
Image from

We don't know about you, but we find this wallpaper - probably from the '80s, don't you think? - comforting. The soap is Bliw, one of our favourites (it is so very soothing - and environmentally friendly!). The functional and friendly mixer tap is everything that Nazis are not.

Paper towels, the very reassuring '80s wallpaper, and a comforting boiler of some kind.

Even more reassuring: a first-aid kit! And a sturdy coat-hook that makes us feel very safe indeed.

Our correspondent on this occasion was wearing a leather jacket from the late nineties. Woof!

This medieval grave monument is found in the porch of the church, on your right as you exit the toilet. It depicts two dudes, which is unusual on this kind of monument. We are unable to find any information about this, but if any of our rampantly intelligent readers know anything about it, you are hugely welcome to inform us, especially if you have information pertaining to the very stylish and woof-inducing codpieces.
While aware that one should not apply modern notions of sexuality onto the past, we are nonetheless imagining these two dudes to be rampantly homosexual, in the process of growing Village People-style handlebar moustaches, and spending their spare time pressing flowers while wearing glitter tank tops, just because we imagine that this vision of non-normative masculinity would make Nazi gobshites uncomfortable.

Today's Festive Video makes us truly nostalgic. It is from a time when you could joke about Nazis because the assumption was that everyone agreed they were evil. How things change. Fuck it. We're off to drink some more gin and maybe nibble a madeleine cake or four.

Festive Video - Father Ted, Father Ted visits Father Fitzpatrick

Related Reading

Another post featuring medieval stuff and a first-aid kit in the same area:
 An Antiquated Update

Posts about Nazis:

Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, and Knees

If You Are a Medievalist in Your Mid- to Late Thirties, and/or Want to Save the World, This Is for You 

Rampant Murderous Nazis Are Taking Over the World, But Here Is a Picture of Jonny In a Toilet, for Your Convenience and Comfort

Sunday, 6 August 2017

The Hours and Minutes Ticking Away

You know how sometimes you're just kicking back, having a perfect orgy of feminist literature and throwing back gin and tonics like there's no tomorrow, and then suddenly tomorrow is right there, in front of you, staring at you with bleary eyes and giving off a really funny smell? And, to make things even worse, there's a tick sucking blood from your left knee (like that particular knee didn't have enough stuff going on already), and you realise you have to go back to work? In our neck of the woods, tick bites involve a real risk of getting Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis, both of which diseases indicate a severe reduction in alcohol consumption for the foreseeable future. Having to go back to work is a global affliction that affects people in all walks of life. There is no known cure.

This kind of situation requires nerves of steel and preferably a hip flask that is likewise made of sturdy, buckle-free metal. If you also happen to have friends who a) are happy to talk you through every single neurosis and crisis of confidence, and b) send you multitudes of toilet pictures, then you can count yourself lucky.

Continuing our work of using up old pictures from our archive, here's one from May last year. Thank you, Feisty French Friend, and may your mojito always be poured by a reckless bartender with a shifty eye and a grudge against the management.

This is probably in Cambodia. As regular readers are aware, we love clear signage!

We reserve a special kind of aversion to Instagram here at the Privy Counsel. We went on it once, and it was literally spewing out distasteful pictures of food, slimy babies and engagement rings, and simply preposterous gym selfies. It took us several days of earnest meditation, purification rites, and self-medication involving the really cheap, nasty kind of rum before we recovered. However, when Feisty French Friend sent us a toilet video via the afore-mentioned repulsive social media site, we of course ventured bravely out to retrieve it. Here it is. You're welcome. *shudder*

Ett inlägg delat av National Geographic (@natgeo)

Let us swiftly move on to these pictures from a special someone who counts as a friend for administrative reasons, namely that young stripling known downtown as Jonny. We have it on good authority that the following photos are from the Botanist restaurant in Leeds.

A sturdy, rustic door!

Oho! What is this? Some kind of branded toilet?

Jonny and a rustic selection of cocks and valves.

Did we mention that we adore clear signage? Binary-categorised toilets are not de rigeur in this day and age, but frankly, we can't fucking stand unisex toilets, and celebrate being able to shut the door on the male gaze. Hurrah!

If you enjoy almost seeing people, you can almost see Jonny in this air dryer!

Sometimes we wake up in the night and worry that the hipsterisation of the world's toilets will eventually lead to a bleak and uniform world where all sinks look like cattle troughs. Read more about sinks looking like cattle troughs here.

A festive duo of urinals.
Jonny says:

I tried to get a shot of the nice toilet seat but someone was waiting outside
It's in The Botanist - Leeds
Really nice inside and insane belly pork...

We don't even want to think about how the insanity of belly pork would manifest itself. Let us quickly move on. We reckon these rustic toilets require an equally rustic, countrified kind of Festive Video. A festive duo, perhaps? You're welcome!

Festive Video - Nashville, Ho Hey.
(Doesn't the chick with the glasses look a bit like Medievalist (With a Side Interest in Roman Archaeology) Friend? Yeah, we thought so too!)

Related Reading

All posts featuring Feisty French Friend
All posts featuring Jonny

Various posts where we explain why unisex toilets are the embodiment of screaming bloody horror, at least if you're a woman (an affliction that affects roughly 50 % of the population):

Stockholm Central Station: The Trauma Is So Great We Are Brought To Quoting Cicero  

Unisex Toilets - This Shit Gets Political 

Hungover Ranting: Festschrift to Medievalist (With a Side-Interest in Roman Archaeology) Friend

Examples of well-designed unisex toilets that we do like:

Unisex Toilets - This Shit Gets Political 

Shooting the Shit - Let Us Get Rid of Transgender Bathroom Bigotry
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