Washroom Stories: Times Past

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© irene waters 2019

The odd occurrence makes me understand how my mother is feeling as she loses her ability to work out how to operate in the present day world. It happened to me the other day – I did not know how to operate in the washroom ( amenities, toilet block, public convenience, public toilets …..). I was confronted with what looked like a joy stick. I flapped my hands under it, gripped it tightly waiting for take off but I couldn’t get any water to flow but I did discover that if I could ever get my hands wet it would at least dry them very efficiently.  I felt like a bumbling fool, an idiot, a child and realised that this is how my Mum feels most days as she confronts situations old and new that she no longer understands. I did finally work it out – the water came from the little nozzle (that I had thought was the soap dispenser) to the right of the joy stick. I was glad that no-one was around to see my confusion in trying to operate the machinery but it did give me a topic for this months Times Past. I am sure that we all have washroom tales to tell. I know I have a number but will confine myself to one.

Baby Boomer Rural Australia (travelling in England in the 90’s)

It happened at the marina at Brighton. I left my group to go to the toilets which while not being portaloos looked as though they were not all that permanent.  I locked myself in the cubicle and on wanting to leave found that the lock would not unlock and I was stuck inside. My companions I knew would not come looking for me as they would not notice my absence for a considerable time. My best hope was for someone else to enter but this did not happen and in desperation I decided I would have to climb up onto the toilet, straddle the wall that divided me from the next cubicle and then lower myself down onto the toilet and hopefully exit via that door. I had visions of me slipping and my foot going into the pan – breaking my leg as it snapped off. None of my visions eventuated and I did get over the wall and out the door and as I suspected – no-one had thought I was gone a long time at all.

The same happened to me in Egypt last year but this time being older and there being many more people around I screamed as loudly as I could being eventually heard and finally rescued. This time though – Roger noticed my absence.

Please join in giving your location at the time of your memory and  your generation. An explanation of the generations and the purpose of the prompts along with conditions for joining in can be seen at the Times Past Page. Join in either in the comments or by creating your own post and linking. Looking forward to your memories.

I apologise for being slow to respond to your comments and posts on last months prompt and apologise in advance for the same possibly happening this month and for a little while to come. Sometimes life throws some spanners at you to put in the works. We seem to have more than our share of spanners at the moment with health issues. Although I might be slow I do hope you continue to tell your stories as when I can I do enjoy reading them.

 

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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10 Responses to Washroom Stories: Times Past

  1. This wouldn’t have seemed such a funny story when it happened to you, but I hope you’re laughing now.
    The worst problems I’ve had were bathroom doors that weren’t locked securely and faucet water so hot that it burned my hands. Oh, and the occasional bit of toilet paper trailing after me as I left. Sometimes I wish I had my own stall deep in the woods where no one could find me.

    Like

  2. Oops, clicked too soon.
    It’s so important to understand the needs of our aging parents. Modern technology constantly improves its mousetraps, but we sometimes like the old fashioned ones best. My mom also got befuddled by newfangled stuff. Helping them not to feel humiliated by the limitations of their age is important. You’re a wonderful daughter to understand your Mom’s situation and to be sensitive to her dignity.

    Like

  3. ksbeth says:

    I so get this

    Like

  4. This was a very interesting post. At one time or another, we have all encountered the locks which don’t work on doors. So annoying too. Thank you so much for the lovely post.

    Like

  5. colinmathers says:

    When Felix was about 4 or 5, he went off to the toilet in a hotel we were having a meal at. When he didn’t reappear I went to check and found that he was in a cubicle and had locked the lock and could not get it open again. I had to get a staff member to free him by unscrewing the door at the hinges.

    Like

  6. I hope that you are okay, Irene. I recall you were quite ill a while ago. You have written about my worst nightmare. I have an absolute terror of being locked in the toilet and not being able to get out. Great post.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Use It Or Loos It #toilets #bogs #WCs | TanGental

  8. Pingback: #Timespast Washroom stories – Robbie's inspiration

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