Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 19 July 2009

For Marja-Leena - a nosegay

European ablutionary facilities (AF) – a very quick guide.

HOME Chateau Bonden has four bedrooms, was built in 1998 and represents enlightened British AF practice. Disregarding the kitchen (main sink, ridiculously small rinsing sink, rarely used dishwasher) and utility room (sink, washing machine) guests may choose from three comfort rooms: (1) downstairs loo comprising seat of ease, tiny wash-basin, (2) main bathroom comprising bath, SofE, wash-basin, (3) “en suite” attached to main bedroom comprising shower stall which gathers dust, SofE, wash-basin.

So far so (almost) North American. However Ch. Bonden fails to accommodate guests’ toilet bags, etc. In cases (1) and (2) the token window-ledges are mainly devoted to books. The “en suite” (horrible but concise phrase) has a mirror ledge but this holds the hosts’ toiletries. At its price range and within its owners’ income, Ch. Bonden is about as good as it gets. Comparable older houses often have fewer SofEs.

HOTELS, etc. Improved during the last twenty years but lagging NA practice. Most true hotel rooms include at least an SofE and a wash-basin. Beyond that, notably in older hotels, tariffs may force guests to pay more for a shower (popular with hoteliers because of its small footprint) and quite a bit more for a bath. Incorporating these improvements, especially in France, has meant some incredible architectural contortions leading to weirdly shaped rooms.

B&Bs are often no more than slightly modified private homes and there are still places where bathrooms (ie, rooms with baths) and, more horrific, SofEs are shared. The better ones will say (smugly) “all en suite”.

The above, a mere 260 words, can be regarded as a discussion document.


The Crow said...

Hmmm...your "seat of ease" equates to our "throne," resulting in other popular euphemisms, "on the throne," or "going to the throne-room."

That's why the plunger is called the scepter.


Plutarch said...

Shakespeare's reference to our island as "this scepter'd isle is now explained.

marja-leena said...

Oh gee, now I'm embarrassed that you titled this with my name. I feel like I'm snooping into all your 'comfort' rooms! Yes, yours is indeed a modern home with more than one such room, even a separate shower!

When we were searching for an apartment to rent in Paris, I became very aware of the weird contortions of some of those bathrooms, especially in 18thC buildings! It became almost the main focus in our choice to have a modern bathroom, heh. The one we got in a 20thC building had a separate throne room next to the actual washing facilities, a small counter and cupboards for toiletries, and shower curtains around the tub - not bad!

Here we call the room with only a throne and sink, a powder room. When we did the renovations on our home, we put in mirrored cabinets with shelves behind above every sink in the bathrooms, a common feature here. But less common are the swing out mirror doors, which are great for checking the back of your head when styling one's hair.

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: An earlier post about US euphemisms (I favoured the word "can") got me into trouble with Julia. I'm surprised that the thing which supports a sovereign's bum has found favour in a republic.

Plutarch: The two lines are fraught with scatological double meanings:
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars.

M-L: I'm a great supporter of concise NA slang but "powder room" is a step too far. It's achingly genteel and, while including babies and women, excludes fellas.

Avus said...

Looks like my house builder had your builder's blueprint, with a few adjustments to layout just to make it "different" BB. From the same deck of cards (very) lightly shuffled.

"all en suite" - could that be "tout de suite"?