Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thoughts on Bathrooms

Im' back in UK now after two weeks in France and one deep thought has been going through my head all the time: how come Europeans just don't GET bathrooms?

I could understand if I stayed at a five centuries old inn that the plumbing might be a little eccentric. But new hotels are apparently built with baths and showers that take an engineering genius to turn on. And they provide tubs with a shower attachment but with no curtain. How are you supposed to wash your back and your hair without spraying all the walls?

And the size of the baths! Big, narrow deep with no room to turn around. It's like scaling Mt. Everest to get in--in fact I had to call down to the desk to ask for crampons at one place. And then to get out again when they are wet and slippery... well, my dears, if I hadn't been touring with John I would have had to stay there until I surprised the maid next morning.

Such big baths must cost a fortune in water heating to fill and are such a waste of water, but there are still precious few walk in showers. Of course the tub is great after a long day of climbing through Medieval hill towns, but not for washing hair.

And don't get me started on the subject of loos. Well, I have started on it now, haven't I? Who on earth might think that standing on two steps with a black hole between them, squatting down and hoping that one's aim is not too off, is as satisfactory a way of relieving onesself as sitting on a nice seat? And yet these black hole toilets are still all over the place in France, including a new loo on a beach.

Brought back memories of embarrassing childhood experiences.... including the time we were driving across France, stopped for lunch at a lovely old farmhouse. Food out of this world. Plumbing less so. I went to the outhouse--hole in the ground variety. Afterward I pulled on the chain and water started rising at my feet AND the door wouldn't open. As the water crept higher I had visions of being the first person to be drowned in a loo.

But I have to say that experiences like this are great to use in my Royal Spyness books--since Lady Georgie always seems to have embarrassing accidents happening to her, I can use all my former embarrassments. In one of the books I have someone almost kliled by a flying toilet tank , not that that's ever happened to me but there have been some wobbly ones. \Oh, and Lady Georgie would never say the word TOILET. Far too lower class. The correct word is LAVATORY, but loo will do perfectly well.

Back home next week where the plumbing works faultlessly.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your post and had a hearty laugh when I noticed that you were born in "Bath." BTW, I loved the bathroom at our hotel in London. However, we did not get to try one out in Paris, since it was only a day trip... But, thanks for the warning, as we are planning to return.