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  • Writer's pictureLéonie Kelsall

Toilet Tribulations

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

A Lament to my Loo

Or should the title be Pooper Prose?

Maybe A Dirge for my Dunny?

Let me tell you all about it…

At the end of last year, I discovered my shower recess was leaking into the linen cabinet, which is on the outside wall of the bathroom. Several bathroom-fix-it people later – and a mountain of mouldy blankets – and it was decided the only remedy was to demolish the shower cubicle. Unfortunately, the entire ensuite was finished in the same tiles which were… dun dun dun… no longer available.

Shocker, huh?

So the tiles had to be stripped.

Then it was discovered that said tiles were cemented to the walls, rather than being stuck with adhesive. Which meant major portions of the gyprock had to be replaced. And the shower alcove wasn’t blue-sheeted (the waterproofing stuff), so that had to be completely rebuilt.

Getting a sense of where this is going?

Long story short, the original ceiling and door of my ensuite remain, the rest was gutted and rebuilt. Let’s not talk about how much a basic bathroom reno costs: everyone has to make a living.

Or buy a new Porsche, or something.

The renovator was brilliant and recommended a one-stop bathroom wares shop. I loathe any kind of shopping, so this was as close to being acceptable as was possible.

All the required components were ticked off my list: basin, wall cabinet, mirror, taps, shower door, shower rose.

Everything except the toilet.

Do you have any idea how many toilets there are on the Australian market? And that they all have different features? Sadly, I now know far more about it than I ever wanted to – and yet still I screwed up.

I said I wanted a basic, decent loo that was solid and would last. Over the years, I’d replaced cisterns and seats and, well, if normal shopping is boring, that is sheer drudgery.

Given my marked lack of interest in the purchase, the salesperson recommended a Caroma unit at nearly $1000.


This wasn’t a bidet or anything fancy, but she pointed out that it was rimless – so, (supposedly!!) clean – and the smooth lines straight to the floor and wall behind meant none of the old-fashioned nooks and crannies to clean gross fluff and hair from.

I think she probably pointed out a lot of other brilliant attributes – for the price, I want to hope so – but honestly, once she said “it’s best feature is that it has a wide, deep throat” I was too busy trying to repress giggles to take in another word. Instead, I just signed over my savings.

However, I’m reasonably sure that what she didn’t mention was that the seat:

1: has a porous underside that stains within the first week of being used.

2. Is a soft-close. Which is great. Unless someone else wants to use the bathroom within five minutes, because then that lid will still be S-L-O-W-L-Y closing on your shame. Even without COVID, I have incredibly clean hands from unnecessarily continuing to wash them while I wait for that damn lid to close before I leave the room.

3. It’s impossible to clean the area between the seat and the lid hinge. Well, unless you use a Q-tip, that is. I am not that houseproud. I’d rather put my energy into being grumpy about the design fail.

4. I’m not one for hanging around in the loo, and I’ve never considered ‘comfort factors’ into my porcelain purchases, but I’m quite certain she did NOT mention that the seat, which is narrow, oddly-shaped and made of some fiendish material that has all the comfort of marble, is freaking cold.

I mean, not just a little squeal-inducing chilly kind of cold, but colder than Mawson’s hut.

Like you’ve just dropped your daks and leaned your butt against the side of an igloo cold.

The kind of cold that instantly freezes your liquid assets – which makes being in the bathroom kind of pointless.

The kind of cold that shoots stalagmites of ice through your jaw and into your molars.

The kind of cold that could be used if you’re into cryonics.

I know this seems a ridiculous complaint, on a par with the multiple reviews that warned my washing machine was too deep for height-challenged people to reach into (spoiler: the reviews were right, I have to use tongs to pull out the clothes) but this actually has the potential to create health issues: I mean, how long is it safe to cross your legs and hold it, rather than subject yourself to the glacial agony of a bathroom visit?

I suppose if you run a full house and want to avoid any dawdling, this toilet could be your jam - or prevent traffic jams :-)

I know my dad will definitely never shift his library collection into there, unlike the outdoor dunny on the farm, so there is that.

The Seat of My Woes

Oh, and one other thing: holy hell, it is tall. I assumed that toilets are all the same height. I was wrong. I’m about 153cm, and if I was any shorter, I would need a stepping stool to mount this Pedestal of Pain.

I’m trying to keep positive, assuring myself it’ll be great when I get older, as I won’t have any knee or hip issues trying to lift ‘up’ to get off the Throne of Torture.

Except my butt will be frozen to it in any case, right? Ah, First World Problems.

I’m off to place several layers of loo paper on the seat in an effort to insulate it.

Lee x

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