Friday 5 June 2020
A Euphemism By Any Other Name
A day of cloud and rain showers interspersed with sun. If we had been at sea, they would have been squalls. It was a fitting setting for a trip to Thetford. As anyone remotely conversant with narrowboaters and narrowboat life knows toilets are a common and frequent topic of conversation. I say conversation* I suppose more akin to discussions between Celtic/Rangers supporters or Liverpool/Everton supporters. There is rivalry shall we say. And yes, there is more than one type
- Pumpout – think of a slurry/holding tank meets Mr Dyson‘s worst nightmare
- Cassette – no, not the music format of the ’80’s but a small box that fits into a toilet-like affair
- Compost – conjuring up the garden idyll of everything coming up roses, except that it’s your waste
We didn’t actually travel to Thetford. We currently have a Thetford Cassette toilet. It looks brand new. It looks like a normal toilet right up until the little indicator thing on it goes from green to red. Then it becomes a pain in the somewhere a lot lower than the neck.It’s a simple affair to empty: turn the toilet around, fiddle around looking for some kind of release mechanism (I wore gloves) and lift out the cassette. Could I do this? No!
I eventually found the catch (after Mu had cranked up YouTube – be careful what you search for) but it wouldn’t budge. It turns out I had the flap open rather than closed (could have been fatal if I had forced it). Flap closed, it came out with ease. It was heavy. We drove around to the sanitation point (Elsan point). No point in struggling by foot, parading what you are doing if you don’t have to 😉
I have carried out the above procedure before in the past. It’s not for the squeamish but after cleaning commodes for a living at one point, it’s old hat. With the cassette back on the boat, I cleaned it to within an inch of its life and clipped it back in.
It’s Simploo Delightful
Mu and I have decided we are going to get a composting toilet. We think the Simploo suits our style. A composting toilet separates fluids from solids, at source. The fluids are more easily emptied, the solids dry out (shrinking down by 80% of their original volume and can be bagged and binned. If you are interested in more detail (no, not that kind of detail) this YouTube video is the one to watch.
So, next time you go to the toilet, spare a thought for us. Oh, maybe not.
On loftier news, our oven shelves and oven grill pan arrived today – no more singed arm! The sun came out later after lashings of rain and we went for a walk along the canal towpath. It was windy but gorgeous. It meant that afterwards, we could sit out and enjoy our evening meal on the stern. Still using the baking tins.
The wind stayed into the evening. The trees by the canal swayed in their uppermost branches and the water rippled past between our boat and the one moored next to use. It gave the feel that we were were on a river. the clouds glowed pink against a blue sky and the sun fell.
*The ‘discussions’ on the merits of the different types of narrowboat toilet are fiercely debated and opinions are rigorously held.
rp – peace and narrowboats