Slightly Bemused writes:

So I have no bathroom.

I went to bed all nice and cosy on Thursday last with a bathroom. Then Friday morning a very nice man turned up, and by lunchtime a new, clean, blank canvas was there, waiting for whatever was to come. At least they left me the toilet for the weekend. That was nice.

And then Tuesday morning happened. By 8:30, that was gone, and this could get awkward (and possibly messy)! At least until Friday.

This made me realise something I have known, but pushed to the back of my head. It is the little things that are important, like access to a bathroom. Amid all this talk about shared accommodation recently, this is surely one of the most basic issues. Not to mention for the homeless.

It also reminded me of a family story. When I was doing my Inter Cert (yes, I am that old) my father decided to renovate our heating system. Out came the old anthracite boiler and in went a brand spanking new range, which would not only heat but roast, cook, and I think may have been able to juggle too from all my Dad said about it.

As part of this, the hot press was moved from our bathroom into the kitchen. In the space freed up, my Dad intended to put in a shower. He even bought the tray. This was a job he would do himself, being an engineer and a consummate DIYer.

Ten years later I returned from my first overseas posting. Still no shower installation. After a chat with my Mum, we headed down to the local hardware shop and bought one of those units that you fit onto the taps of the bath. Voila! Instant shower. Just had to be careful with the spray not to wet the floor too much.

When my Dad got home and saw this, he was really quite irate and turned to my Mum and said “Stop rushing me!”

I came home the next evening to find that a set-up had been rigged to hang the showerhead, shower curtain had been installed, and all was right between him and my Mum. But roll on another ten years and they moved out to a house designed for those with special mobility issues, and still no shower installed.

In fairness, he had been doing quite a lot of other work, including in the community, and it was not laziness. It turns out that there was not enough height under the floorboards for the correct fall to allow proper drainage, and the bathtub was in the way if he raised the tray enough. As the issue was not critical, it was put on the back burner. I heard the new owners just ripped everything out and started from scratch, so no worries. Kind of like my own bathroom now.

Anyway, back to Friday. Shortly after my bathroom started appearing on the grass as it awaited the skip, my next door neighbour pops his head in: “I see the plumber has arrived” and proffers a set of keys. His spare set, and the invitation to make use of his facilities for the duration. Messy avoided.

A short while later, the neighbour on the other side popped in, and showed me where the spare key was kept, with a similar invitation. And an admonishment to close the porch door before I open the inner, or the little Jackie would get out.

I have two great neighbours, and I would not trade them for a hundred new bathrooms.

Slightly Bemused‘s column appears here every Wednesday.

43 thoughts on “Toilet Humour

  1. GiggidyGoo

    Can’t get an electrician to do a small job for love nor money at the moment. They won’t come right out and say they’re not interested – just give a f-off price.

    At least half the jobbie is done Slightly. It’ll be completed when the paperwork is done.

    1. Slightly Bemused

      I must admit I am mercilessly taking advantage of the one in for this job to get a few little things sorted out :-)

  2. Clampers Outside

    Oh…. My.. God…. Slightly!
    The colour of that loo is sightly!
    It’s turned into a bathroom bliitz
    Bathroom blitz!
    I’ll get me towel, and leave now :)

  3. Janet, dreams of a steamed clootie

    What a nice start to my day, good read in bed ! What a difference nice neighbors make, mine are South African and we send plates of fun dishes back and forward to try, butternut flan and corn cake are a thing !
    Your story reminds me of when I lived in Nepal and my toilet was a bucket and my shower was another bucket of baltic water up on the roof on the roof of the world, you swear you will never complain again but of course you do ! Thanks for the reminder of how good we have got it really :)

      1. Janet, dreams of a steamed clootie

        hahaha !
        I did manage to inadvertently teach a few kids the word fupp, as that’s mostly the word that was accompanying any kind of a rinse,
        I came down the stairs to find a gaggle of them screaming it delightedly after my first morning.

    1. Slightly Bemused

      Been there, done that. Although not Nepal, I must say.
      One place I was, a very kind housekeeper would place thermos flasks of warmed water outside our bedroom doors. Pour it in the bucket and it took the edge off. She did not work weekends, so in the winter I can assure you that fupp was not the word I was using :-)

  4. Barry the Hatchet

    We need to talk about that 1970s bathroom set. It’s magnificent! Why would you want to be parted from it?!

        1. millie

          My father in law had an identical bathroom suite. I still get a little pang of disappointment every time I walk into the bathroom and see the lovely off-white modern rig out.

          My own parents had a charming (vomit-inducing) peach bathroom set.

    1. Cian

      One set of relatives had a chocolate-brown bathroom set (not their choice I should add).

      Who thought that *brown* would be a good choice for a toilet???

  5. Johnny

    Welcome To America.

    I was getting a bit work done, had skip emptied for long weekend,chains up side looked down.
    Stopped by sun on way back from beach to rental, to check it out-chains down-vovlo hatchback beside skip-our fella flinging bags into skip.
    Locked back up site, slowly roll ford 150 truck forward,blcoking his exit to have a chat,turns out…
    Neighbors father, dumping left overs from party night before and some old paint cans from his garage clean up-he did not want wait for Tuesday when dump opened,he’d had a few drinks too.
    This well dresses dapper gent, who’d proffered his business card to this paddy and asked if I knew what Park Ave meant….climbed into the skip and refilled by hand his now busted bags and loaded his volo…..after fake dialing the cops, talking his daughter, his lawyer, on a sunny Sunday afternoon of holiday weekend…not many takers, getting caught on another mans land dumping trash is a lonely place.

    Good fences in America make…

      1. Johnny

        ..his hot daughter my neighbors arrived mid way, with her hubby who was nice guy, whispered after we started our affair, that my humiliation of her father that sunny afternoon really made her interested….

          1. Johnny

            ….you could say I fooped her father that sunny afternoon,her shortly after,I will never forget the first time …sand between our toes,her face in the,cool fresh frette linens..her father was a very prominent man.
            humiliation followed shortly after,her hubby found ,the explicit pics and vids she’d been bombarding me with…they divorced and moved soon after,her father still lives close but doesn’t take out his own trash anymore.
            …the new neighbors seem nice she’s recently divorced,and the nanny is European:)

          2. Brother Barnabas

            was that what you bonded over? having prominent daddies

            you talk a lot about big, important daddies, actually, johnny…

          3. Papi

            Cool fresh linens but sand between your toes.
            Are you getting your penthouse letters mixed up again?

  6. Lolzy

    Such a shame to see ceramics in skips. Instead of thinking – with collective responsibility for waste & materials – how we could use/repurpose/upcycle materials we discard them stupidly & unthinkingly. Where in Dublin even, is there a specialist recycling center where we can learn about types of plastic and to clean segregate & sort materials accordingly so that recycling can be an effective & meaningful task? I’ve seen too much now, perfectly good mirrors thrown into skips & shattered. The picking centers must only be picking a fraction of recyclable material with the rest for incineration / landfill? We really need to wake up & think about these things.

    I’m reading also about “carbon capturing”. Maybe someday we’ll defeat mother nature & somehow synthesise what she does. Until then, until our innovative solutions to defeat mother nature, will we continue to cut down trees with impugnity? The deciduous tree – the greatest carbon capturer of them all.

    1. Slightly Bemused

      The skip company own a recycling centre and one of their statements is that they sort through every skip, claiming what can be. Ceramics tend to be broken up and sent to builders as aggregate for foundations, etc. Might not be ideal, but better than nothing.
      They apparently also take out the workings of the toilets for sale to renovators with older systems which can be harder to get.

  7. bisted

    …you got off light…in fact, I’ll see your bathroom* replacement and raise you a new kitchen…six weeks in forget what normal life was like…still not finished…never, never use friends or relations…and even worse…friends of relations…

    *the bathroom was avocado…
    **thankyou great neighbour!

    1. Clampers Outside


      My good wife had her friends uncle hang all the doors in the house… Every one of them had a swing in them, and the gaps between the wall and the door surround was almost an inch in places. And don’t get me started on the hatchet job he did on fitting the handles and locks… Jaysus, it was some of the most shoddy work I’d ever seen, and took me the best part of a year before I’d got around to correcting them, or at least corrected as well as I could manage… which was decent, in fairness (pats self on back) :)

Comments are closed.