The Reinvention of the Outside Toilet

Thursday 26th December

My Nana used to have an outside toilet, in the winter it was bloody freezing and you didn’t hang around.  A quick poo and grab a sheet of torn-up newspaper, wipe, throw and yank the chain with nary a glance over your shoulder.  And the house I had in Leyton also had an outside loo, rarely used until we had the side boxed in as a conservatory and the loo, now part of the house, was renovated and renamed the downstairs toilet.

Here in Eymet we have the guest room in the garden and separated from the house by about 10 yards of paving slabs.  It was an empty storage room but we had electricity and water and a shower, hand-basin and loo installed.  And now it is our very own outside toilet.  When we have no guests we often use it (it might be considered churlish to dash in there while they were asleep). And it is simply brilliant.  Unheated and obviously not part of the house you can have a quiet moment’s reflection while the colder temperature of the place doesn’t half help the business in hand.  Also because it is separated from the main house you aren’t bothered by how much smell you create in the process.

When indoor lavatory’s became the norm everyone literally turned their back on the old-fashioned outdoor khazi, but in their way they were a great invention.  Like animals we don’t actually like to poo in our own dens, so what could be more civilized than a short walk outside to have a poo.  Of course weeing is far more acceptable to do indoors; the indoors loo is just one step up from the potty, which again we used at Nana’s; thankfully it was her task to collect and empty them each morning.  I imagine that quite a lot of couples don’t always flush after peeing, especially when you have crept out at three in the morning and don’t want to wake your partner.  But if you need a poo at that time, the outdoor loo is a Godsend, you can make as much noise as you like, stentorian farting included, safe in the knowledge that no-one can hear you.  Have a nice day.