By: Blonde Two
As you know, we Blondes are used to dealing with Dartmoor’s lack of toilet facilities (rocks, gorse bushes and cows excepting). Which is maybe why I was so taken with the toilet block at the North Devon camp site that I have just visited.
Imagine yourself in a far off lofty place; the fragrance of waxy frangipani blossoms of wafts past your nostrils, and there is the tang of chilli roasted meats in the streets below. After removing your Hunter wellies and looking in shame at your less than immaculate toe nails, you step gingerly through the studded door of the temple. It is clear as soon as you do so, that you have entered a zone of extreme cleanliness.
The perfumes of a thousand newly cleansed female bodies, rise around you from the floor; which is heated from underneath by the gentle glow of smouldering sandalwood. You stand, despite your urgent need to relieve yourself, and feel the exotic aura soak into your skin.
The row of toilet cubicles stretches on out of sight. Too timid to walk any further in, you select the first polished marble door and push; there is no handle to spoil its lustrous surface and the door moves as though floating upon hinges that are not of this world. The glimmering porcelain is warm as you sit, and its shapes seems shift as if to curve around your hindquarters. The paper has been fashioned from the paper swamps of Magdanaloo, and rolled gently on the thighs of dusky Magdanalese maidens.
When you exit to wash your hands, warm, aromatic water pours automatically from a bamboo tap. No mechanical hand-dryers here; white towels are in abundance. As you dry, you avert your eyes from the glistening mirrors; to observe your own reflection would detract from the majesty that surrounds you.
You walk to the shower cubicles. Each one is as large as your bathroom at home. You enter and close the door, the urge to divest yourself of your filthy camp rags overcomes you and you strip off. There are shelves; so many shelves that each item of your clothing can sit alone. You walk towards the water jets that turn on and off automatically according to your body position. The water temperature is perfect and as you luxuriate in its sublimity, you raise your gaze to the vaulted ceiling where ranks of bright lights gleam at your now cleansed body.
Your thinning travel towel is left, unwanted on its shelf, as you are puffed gently dry by jets of sweet-smelling mountain air. You dress again, this time in robes more befitting to your surroundings. You slip your feet into slippers knitted by the swallows of Osgoma and walk reluctantly towards the temple door.
As the door shuts behind you, you take a shocked breath; it is raining still, the grass is a muddy slush and you have to go back to a drippy tent.