Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Orka! Literally Mounds of Toilets in Orkney

Orka! is a colloquial expression frequently used by surly Swedish teenagers. The most helpful translation is perhaps "I can't be bothered to". "Orka lägga upp massor med toafoton hela tiden!" is an example of how the word might be used in a sentence, perhaps by a tired and frazzled toilet blogger with a thousand cares and lacking even the energy to cut up a lemon for a restorative gin and tonic. (One splendid solution to this problem is staying in a hotel - preferably one situated in an area rich in the remains of roman latrines - where the staff will, for payment, cut up the lemon and assemble the gin and tonic for you, while you recline in the shade and read an improving book or perhaps send pictures of fruit to friends and acquaintances. Not a super economical lifestyle, but very, very enjoyable.) There are certain situations, however, when it becomes imperative to harden the fuck up and bloody well write a toilet blog post. Like when a friend sends a large amount of insanely exciting pictures, for instance.

As regular and perhaps even semi-regular readers are aware, our archive of toilet pictures is so full of long-forgotten, no-longer-identifiable, decomposing bodies (for bodies, read photos) that we imagine it as the crypt from the novel The Monk - no doubt for sane and healthy reasons. When Shewee Fiend Friend sent us a shitload of toilet pictures from Orkney, therefore, we thought FUCKING SHIT WE'D BETTER PUBLISH OR BE DOOMED.

We've simply cut and pasted Shewee Fiend Friend's text, interspersed with her pictures in the order she sent them. You're welcome.

So first of all. Orkney and toilets. Very satisfying experience 
There are public toilets everywhere. In every little village there's one. Even if only twenty people live in that village 
And they're all so clean!! Every one was super amazingly clean 
Here's one from Kirkwall 
Look how cool that is 
Stupid taps, but you can't have everything 
The sign implies that people disrespected the toilets, but perhaps they just needed a stern sign and then they cleaned up their act 
There was always toilet paper 
There was always a little bar of soap at every sink 
Variety of hand dryers 
Universally non mixer taps though 
And some women's toilets had extra goodies 
I feel I sampled a large amount and it's fair to say that random ones on the side of the road might not have extra amenities, but ones attached to pubs or museums did 
That was awesome


We're not even going to analyse this picture. It's too depressing.
Quick! Something to dull the pain! Where is the diclofenac?

Some also had showers 
So that is part one of my unexpected toilet adventure 
The second part is more exciting and will require more sifting of photos 
So there are 4000-5000-year-old sites right

So those is Midhowe broch, fortified residence with houses built on to it 
And it's all built with this lovely stone right, which they also used to build furniture, which is still intact

Little shelves and dressers and shit

Walled off rooms with benches 
Actually it's from a cairn but you see the same thing in residences 
The cairns seem to be built like their residences

This last one is Scara Brae 
You can see little sleeping chambers 
They slept curled up small 
Centrally is the hearth 
There's always a hearth

And near the hearths there are these rectangular boxes, sometimes in the floor and sometimes set above 
Those last three are the broch of Gurness 
And they're water tight 
There was always water and gross shit growing in them 
And there's usually a drainage system visible 
In Scara Brae and Midhowe it was obviously centrally planned, running through the whole settlement 
Ok so here's where it gets cool. In this last place, tomb of the eagles, there's a broch nearby where you can clearly see how the tubs and drainage worked together 
But I foolishly didn't get a picture. 
Well. There's an ingress where the fresh water comes in, and then it would be moved to the central tub, and dirty water poured out the drain 
Also there are these rubbish heaps of burned rocks 
So they're heating stones in the hearth, and then heating the water with the stones in main tub. For cooking or cleaning or whatever 
Back to Gurness 
I mean, this could be anything 
But the shape is suspicious eh 
You could put a bowl under that, and empty it

Maybe one like this

Or ceramic 
At the broch by tomb of the eagles though, you have this

That suspicious stone, whose shape we recognise only because we've already seen it in a seat-like position, is directly above the drain 
Which would be a very logical place to put a toilet 
Is this not awesome??!! 
Anyway, I was not on a toilet hunt on this trip at all, but the toilets were there to be noticed and praised 
So that is what I am doing 
Here are some more gratuitous beautiful pictures of landscapes

While we're doing gratuitous pictures, let's have a gratuitous picture of fruit! Hurrah!

For reasons not entirely unrelated to the window-cleaner we - despite knowing better - sprayed on our keyboard, we are experiencing certain challenges in terms of typing. We'd better stop here, though of course not before indulging in a Festive Video. It is a truth universally acknowledged that '90s music cures all ills. Let us perhaps have some haunting Celtic beauty, to go unacceptably pseudo-poetic.

Festive Video - The Cranberries, Dreams

(Here is an alternative example of haunting Celtic beauty.)

Related Reading
All posts featuring Shewee Fiend Friend
All posts featuring Scotland
All posts featuring Shetland shithouses
All posts under the label History lesson

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