Thursday, 26 April 2018

Here it is, Sue Elliott!!

Musings on Antipodean Bathrooms
I asked an innocent question -'Is it usual for bathrooms in private homes in New Zealand not to have a lock on the door?' Seemed like a perfectly sensible question to me, but somehow this convinced my NZ friend that I was writing a blog all about bathrooms. Which I wasn't - but.... HERE IT IS, SUE ELLIOTT!!

Things I have observed about bathrooms in New Zealand
1. In the private homes I visited in New Zealand and Australia they do not have a lock on the bathroom/toilet door. This would be unheard of in the UK. We always have a lock on the (inside of) the bathroom door to prevent embarrassing incidents, or invasion by small children. Here's a photo of mine (and I hope you like my lighthouse light switch pull). Not high tech, but effective. Perhaps it will start an interior design trend in New Zealand.
2. There are light switches and electrical sockets in bathrooms. This is a definite no-no in the UK where we obviously can't be trusted not to switch on the light with wet hands, or stick our wet fingers into the sockets. Instead we have pull -cord light switches (hence my tasteful lighthouse), and the switch for the electric shower is outside the bathroom door. And no sockets. Ever.
3. I even observed washing machines in some bathrooms. I have seen this in Italy too. This sensible arrangement, preferable to doing laundry in the kitchen, is completely against regulations in the UK (presumably for the same reasons as in 2 above). When I asked my electrician if I could have my washing machine in the bathroom he looked as if I had asked to eat his children.
4. There seems to be good provision of Public toilets in New Zealand (and Australia). This is not always the case in the UK where many have been closed to cut costs. The ones I visited were clean (sadly not always the case in the UK if you can find one) and supplied with toilet paper, soap and hand dryers or paper towels (also not always the case in the UK, so go prepared with a paper tissue in your pocket). The Public loos did have locks on the doors.

In case anyone other than Sue is reading this, and wondering why there is a picture of a large dog's head made of corrugated metal at the start of this post- that is the Public Toilets building in Tirau, a small town which also has a charming corrugated metal Pukeko (bird) sitting on the roof of another building.