Sunday, August 26, 2007

Beware: the Tories are breeding

Tory bollards
Originally uploaded by joellaflickr.

We went for a walk in the Chilterns today. It might be an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but it is also Stuffed Full Of People With Too Much Money. The men wear stripy upmarket polo shirts and always go to the bar. The women are mostly pregnant, in that smug, soft-focus name-down-for-Eton-already (and they *know* it's a boy, because they ordered one) sort of way.

I don't mind the countryside, I said to M, but I have this feeling it's supposed to be bleak. This is not bleak. This is complacent.

The Thames at Henley redefines complacent. You can't say it's not beautiful, but it's also slightly repugnant. We walked down it for a few miles, then veered off to Aston and had beer and sandwiches in the Flower Pot. Both beer and sandwiches were good but on the expensive side, and better that than shit but on the cheap side, I always say. I was bemused, nay, alarmed by the number of stuffed animals mounted round the place, but pleased by the exemplary old-school pub toilets. They don't do pipework like that no more. (Interestingly, one of the recent reviews on beerintheevening, via the link above, is *complaining* about the old-school toilets. Shame on you, that's craftsmanship that is, it will last for decades yet).

I had some more thoughts about gender and toilets as the queue outside the Ladies grew, along the "men in stripy upmarket polo shirts never take their children for a wee, therefore posh country pubs should convert their Gents into more Ladies, and stick a trough in the garden for the men. It will help them reaffirm their masculinity, Iron John style, and the rest of us can piss in good time" lines.

Heck, I've managed to devote more than half a post about walking in the Chilterns to gender, water and sanitation. Go me!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a reason men - whether in upmarket polo shirts or not - never take their children to the loo. It has something to do with the state of men's loos anywhere and everywhere!! Or at least that is the excuse I get.

I'm feeling spiky too and just want to be left alone. Kids have other ideas though and I am meant to be making a cardboard box robot, as well as answering calls from upstairs. It's Radio 2 for me! You already know I have no taste in music though, so that's OK.

Kate (A)

3:29 pm  
Blogger Jo said...

After he read this, M told me he didn't like taking his daughters to the men's because of the cocks out at the urinals. My dad used to take me swimming when I was little and the men's changing rooms used to pose similar problems. I'd have said the answer was unisex cubicles but then, like you say, there's the mess factor. Hmm, this needs more thought.

I am feeling less spiky now, hope you are too. Let's make a plan soon xx jo

11:35 pm  

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