in/outside toilet memories
We zoomed pals last Thursday eve. We are not going to see them, so why not.
Our host tells terrible jokes. He also mentioned falling off the toilet, trying to stand. From a Sheffield newsagent's family, he is never without reading material when visiting. Not sure which nerves got trapped in that awkward sitting position, but long enough to produce anaesthesia of prodigious proportions. No information on the fall, if it happened. The major unanswered question remains however ...
This prompted me to relate one of my toilet stories:
My granny lived in Hillhouse as part of a terrace that lined and defined a yard.
Twenty-five metres away, at the bottom of the yard was a long narrow single storey building with six doors, each with its own keyhole. Behind grannie's front door was a nail from which hung neat hand-sized squares of newspaper. A small sewing bobbin and a key also hung there, on a loop of string. A candle too somehow suspended.
The newspaper served two purposes. Much like fish and chip wrapping. No one was ever in that dimly lit ice box down the yard long enough to get a numb bum.
My brother and I were flummoxed by a singular fact however. Behind grannie's door there was only ever one match.
Now another one from Dave Whalley.
The outside loo never seemed to be a problem to us, though in the later years many of the houses on the street took council grants to turn the back bedroom into a bathroom with toilet. We never took the opportunity. That was my bedroom which had a plumbed bath in it which Dad had boxed round for privacy. We preferred to keep things as they were and were quite happy with the situation until Grandma died and Mum and Dad decided to move.
My main memories of the outside loo were going over at night with a candle or torch - the candle was more romantic ... and warmer! I don't recall it feeling spooky but whilst sitting there the imagination could run riot and the tiny room became a ship at sea or a cabin in the forest. I often had to be called back for staying out too long. It also provided garaging for my much-loved scooter, tucked at the side – we had no other outside storage.
As far back as my memory goes we used toilet rolls - Mum was quite fussy, but my other grandma who lived at the other side of Sheffield (nearer Sheffield United's ground) used old copies of the Radio Times, which nicely tore into two to hang on a piece of string at the back of the door. Always something interesting to read there.
A final memory which ties in nicely with the toilet theme. There were huge crowds at the Wednesday Ground in those days and often the fans threw toilet rolls onto the pitch. I shall never forget the day of a really big match when one rained into our yard over the roof - much appreciated.
Again on this theme, we have a lovely book that we've had for years called 'Temples of Convenience and Chambers of Delight' by Lucinda Lambton. Very interesting and beautifully illustrated and available for loan to anyone interested.
Em's chocolate cake
We had Em to stay for the first time.
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