By: Blonde Two

I am so sorry, I have been trying so hard to stop myself from writing this blog post but it is nagging me to be written.  So here is a warning, if you are a wee bit squeamish, turn away now. Mr Blonde Two and I have arrived at our second Austrian destination, another valley in the Tirol and another apartment (apartments here are lovely).  The good news is that I can still see mountains from the bed in the morning, I have an even larger balcony on which to drink my tea and we have gone up-market and have an oven. The bad news is that this apartment, just like the last one has a toilet-shelf.  I first met this strange phenomenon (and was suitably perturbed by it) when I visited Germany as a teenager.  I have no idea how common it is, maybe everyone else in the UK has one. Please allow me to enlighten you;  The toilet-shelf is not a useful plank of wood on the wall of a loo cubicle, that would be a good thing.  No, the toilet-shelf refers to the position and shape of the porcelain into which one must do some of life’s less mentionable but very necessary deeds.  In my loo at home, one produces a package and the offending article disappears under a sanitising layer of water.  With a toilet-shelf, there is still water but the package nestles gently in a special delivery area, unsullied by water and exposed to sight and air. I have talked many times to you about having to “go” in the outdoors.  Our youngsters get very excited and often feel the need to tell us when they experience this for the first time.  I have always thought that it was a kind of rite-of-passage to be faced with your own excrement but I really don’t want to have to look at it every time I produce some.  I can think of many disadvantages of the toilet shelf, some too horrid to mention but the main one is the smell; I have discovered that under-water poo smells a lot less than on-the-shelf poo.  I have been trying too, to think of advantages but the only thing that I can come up with (and it is a bit off-putting) is that the toilet-shelf does give one the opportunity to keep track of the healthiness of one’s bowels. This could be taken too far though, don’t you think.  Imagine a range of loo roll printed with a “poo chart”, or a loo that weighed your “doings” so that you could compare input with output.  I had to weigh my salad at one of the motorway services on the way here, only a step further I think. Let us never mention this again!