As a boater, of course I need no excuse to introduce the subject of toilets. It is a subject quite dear to my heart, I must confess, and one that frequently haunts my dreams in quite surreal ways (and that is all I am saying on that subject).
A philosopher friend of mine once, he claimed, sought words of wisdom from a venerable and respected sage, and after this guru had thought for a few minutes, this is what he brought forth: 'You never regret going to the toilet.'
Now, I can, hypothetically, conceive of circumstances in which that might not hold true - for example, if there is an axe murderer hiding behind the cubicle door - but as a rule of thumb it has served me well. So I like toilets for their practical value; but I am also very keen on their social history and aesthetics. For example, some old pubs have fabulous Victorian toilets - at least that is what men will tell you. But the ladies' will be sadly disappointing, often a 1960s adjunct - because when the originals were built, ladies didn't go in pubs.
So, when I go off on my travels, I am going to see whether I can find any interesting loos to report on. Not quite in Lucinda Lambton's league, but the third and fourth division of conveniences.
And I struck quite lucky in Saltaire. Firstly, I visited the toilets in Salts Mill. And when I say firstly, I do mean as soon as I got there. Having been there before, I knew this was a safe bet. The sanitaryware itself was very modern, as befits a recently renovated and repurposed building, but the tiles - or in this case, I think, glazed bricks - were rather good.
5 days ago