Saturday, 13 August 2016

Dear John

For some reason, when I was about twelve I decided it would be interesting to keep a diary of all the loo/Johns/lavs, etc, that I ever visited. As with many ideas it never happened (oh . . . what a terrible shame and how the world would have benefited, you may be saying) but over the years I have actually tentatively started, as part of various notebooks, this great work.
What is it about these tiny rooms? A place where you are (usually, or possibly not!) alone for a few minutes to contemplate your surroundings - horrible, recently redone, cockroach-ridden, left over from the 70s or oddly restful and spacious.
I often find myself musing, what I would do if I was trapped in the room? How I might escape, or if that was impossible, how I would while away the time - counting tiles, inventing exercises involving the loo or simply meditating until someone came to check where you had disappeared to, if they did...
My latest notebook has a few accounts of loos on a recent road trip but I think perhaps visuals are more effective, so - Loo number one:

The smallest room in an ancient pub I have visited a few times in Dorset.
I think the small basket of plastic flowers must have been placed there in about 1968 and has never moved since.
Loo's noted elements:
Faded lace curtain hung with nails, rusted can of lilac air-freshener, interesting and unusual metal/enamel cistern with lever handle, wooden seat whose rubber protectors could appear rather like goggly fish eyes if you did happen to become trapped in the room for too long.

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