Going to the Lavatory In Nottingham: 2016 versus 1954 Style!

Nottingham 2016’s v 1954’s Trips to the Lav’


Easy Peasy nowadays!

I wake in the middle of the night regularly nowadays here in the new flat, in urgent need of the facilities in the bathroom. Often called the toilet, loo, bog, privvie,  ****house or Outhouse over the years.

The Inchcock household used to call it the Lav (Lavatory).

Nowadays, getting to the ‘Lav’ is easy peasy compared to how I had to struggle in 1954 to get to the outside ‘Lav’ – a brick built up against the railway viaduct wall that carried the trains that shook the bog and house everytime an express went past. Adjoined to the row of other WC’s and coal houses.

Today, I arise, convince my arthritis to allow me the short few yards walk to the ‘Lav’, put the light on, do my business, wash my hands in hot water, using carbolic soap or washing up liquid, dry myself, hang the towel back up turn off the light and hobble the best part of eight feet back to the 1954 imitation leather armchair with the collapsing with age arms, and back to kip.  

There is so little in comparison to what I had to go through to do the same NCCwalk04from 1952 to 1954! Except the carbolic soap, I’ve alway liked the smell of that, it reminds me of a girl who use to work in service I knew. Big gal, Margaret, solid as a rock and always up for a bit of… oh, I lost the plot there, sorry.

I can still get the carbolic soap off a stall in Victoria Market, in fact, I might have nip into town on Monday and get some more in.

NCCwalk03In the Good old Days of 1954ish, here is what a trip to the ‘Lav’ meant going through:

I’d wake up, usually when the 0125 hr (Then the 0225hrs and so on) London express train belted by the house and shook the bedroom, roof slates would fall off, windows would rattle, ice would fall off the windows in winter, the light would swing about (Not that I had a bulb in it very often, Dad didn’t like to waste money)  and shook the whole place for a minute or so after it had gone.,

I would remove the great coats, Dad’s old uniform jackets and the blanket off of the bed, then get out from beneath, feeling so cold, and step onto the oh so cold lino-covered floor and generally, kick the TreatmentGuzunder, or tip it over.

Then the struggle to get some of the freezing clothes on top of the jammies to help keep me warm on the journey, for it certainly was a journey going to the Outside ‘Lav’ in those days.

I had to be careful not to make any noise that would wake Dad up, or I’d be in for it!

Taking care not to knock the tin Guzunder against anything, I start down the wooden uncarpeted, unlit stairs down to the Kitchen. I knew which of the stair treads creaked and would avoid them. Not easy when trying not to spill the Woodthorpewee from the gazunder I was carrying so as to empty it in the ‘Lav’.

Some of the other residents had lagged the ‘Lav’s’ pipes and made them look almost homely. (Which they were compared to ours, and even our house!). Dad thought this a was another waste of money.

Then to unlock the back door quietly, it had three well-rusted bolts, no locks.

Then the challenge of getting across the yard to the ‘Lav’, if I ran, difficult carrying the guzunder mind, I’d not get so cold. So a mad dash and into the ‘Lav’. Try not to bang the door, empty the Guzunder and do my business.

This could prove a hiatus in my actions because often in winter the pipes would freeze-up.

The return journey was fraught with danger. I dare not pull the chain because our WC was a lot noisier than the others for some reason.

Out from the cold dark ‘Lav’ into the cold dark night, across the yard and into the cold dark house.

No hot water to wash my hands in of course cold was available providing the pipes hadn’t frozen.

Getting up the stairs without causing any creaking of the stair steps was difficult. With my little legs getting over two to avoid the noisy ones was hard, sometimes I dropped the Guzunder. Dad would appear as soon as the clattering started on the Gazunder’s way down the stairs, he’d smilingly belt-me around the head, pick me up and throw me into my so-called bedroom while informing me of the consequences of any repeat performance of waking him up again!

Early in the morning (0415 hrs) Dad would kindly belt on the bedroom door, informing me it was time to get up and go to the paper shop for my morning newspaper delivery round.

Ah, memories!

Fri 4 Mar 16 Inchcock Today: Plans, hopes and health deteriorated throughout this day. Humph!



Friday 4th March 2016


If you’d made gravy like wot I did today, you wouldn’t risk going too close to it either. Urgh! Hehe!

Good Morning each.

Another night of my waking up between dreams. I think most of them were about being frustrated at work again? The now, almost usual climbing up walls, onto and over roofs, with one odd one out about being sentenced in Court to life imprisonment, by the female judge that looked a lot like cyber friend Marissa Bergen? Well, she kept alternating between playing her guitar and drums throughout the trial? I had no idea what the charge was, but recall occasionally ducking down behind the dock and roasting some vegetables on a griddle?

I got up with relative ease this morning, and toddled to the Porcelain and used the throne. Bleeding again still, but nowhere near as much. And the back was easier too, no stabbing pains at all yet. (Give it time though).

I made up some gravy, ready to use later. I was going to store it in the fridge until it needed to be added to the Beef pie when I made it. I have no idea what, well; I assumed I’d put something into it by mistake, but when I dipped my finger in to taste it, Cor blimus, did taste ‘orrible! I decided to just use oxo cubes later on and avoid the fancy recipe Sister Jane gave me to try in future.

P1050112 P1050113

It wasn’t looking too bad outside. I was partially pleased with the photo I took from the kitchen window of a group of dog-wakers, way away on the steep footpath that leads up to Woodthorpe Grange Park. As I took it, tiny bits of snow began to fall. It must be cold out there; they are all wrapped up well.

Made a cuppa and took the medications. I was thinking of having an early bath, but the hot water didn’t seem to get hot?

NCCwalk05I must get to the laundry room today. I’ll leave it until the bus is due.

Laptop on, another cuppa, finished a graphicalisation off for a post.

Then, set about to trying to find out how to change from Formal to Casual recognition on Grammarly checks. It took me over three hours searching and experimenting to find out how to do it. Of course, it’s so easy when you learn how to. Tsk!

Late now for the laundry, but I’ll get abluted and dressed, then go down to see if a machine is available, got to be done like.

Back in a bit. (I hope).

All the machine being used, so no laundering today.

Back to the flat, WC decided to have a bath. Still no hot water. Humph! 

P1050115The snow had kept off, but the sky looked ominous out there.

I felt a bit weary earlier than usual today.

The vision blurred a bit, and the back and Angina is giving me some grief now.

So, I decided to make the fodder while I was feeling up to it.

Had the rumbling innards start again now, too.

P1050114I got a beef pasty, roast vegetables with parsnips added, boiled cubes potatoes and made some gravy. Had a banana after the fodder.

Not up to eating much of it, though.

I faded and fell asleep on and off for a couple of hours, feeling grotty each time I stirred.

Made a cuppa and took the medications.

The mobile rang, it was the Doctors Surgery changing the time of my appointment for Mondays Warfarin INR blood level test.

While up, I got the laptop back on and changed the time of the appointment on the Google Diary before I forgot to. If that wasn’t bad enough, I realised I’d missed my appointment at the clinic when I altered the calendar. Bunglelworthy I am!

Didn’t do much else other than wash the pots and threw away the uneaten food.

Checked what was on the TV, in the hope, that I’d stay awake long enough to watch Hetty Wainthrope Investigates. Then realised I’d been looking at the wrong day, and Hetty was not on tonight.

Whatever it was I watched, it was in a repeating mishmash of periods of 2-3 minutes wakefulness followed by ten minutes a kip… I’ve no idea why I didn’t just give in earlier to the sleep, The pains from Anne Gyna and the feelings of impending doom and anticipated looming catastrophe. I felt suddenly horribly depressed.

When I did try to get off into the land of nod, I waking up feeling, erm what’s the word? Apprehensive, timid, nervous perhaps. I can’t explain why, but need to get help if this continues. I’ve never felt like this before in my life.

In the midst of all this physical and mental uncomfortableness and apprehension, I had to visit the throne in the bathroom. No bleeding from either end should have cheered me up a tad. I had an idea for a post I thought might be humorous: ‘Nipping to the lavatory over the years.

How do I get ideas like this when I’m suffering so and sat on the throne? And not when I’m in a logical state of mind; when I want to get an idea when I’m sat at the laptop looking for an idea. 

So I wrote this down here to remind me in the morning. Else I might forget it, I fear.

Hello, poetry? Hehe! I got the laptop on and updated this diary while I thought of it.

Although by now, it was well past my usual time for getting up – I got my head down, and a few minutes at most later, I awoke with few memories of a long dream I just had.

Horrible they were, everything going wrong, frustrating, hate-filled nasty people chasing me, and I was back on the rooftops running away from hundreds of people, ending up at a petrol station in the Outback of Australia, kangaroos all around. Not being chased anymore now, I fell in love with the lady putting petrol in my car…

I don’t understand how so much could have been dreamt about in such a short time?

But I was still in pain and depressed when the Reflux Valve joined in with Anne Gyna to make me even more sorry for myself.

So around 0500 hrs I got up, and needed another trip to the throne? Oh dear, I’m fed-up.