The Fake and the Real


Irish Rail Toilet Landscape
Irish Rail Toilet

The lure of nature is hard to resist. Some of us love our home comforts, too, though. Hence the joy of sitting on the loo when your toilet door is built so that it faces out into a garden which neighbours can’t see into, as ours was, until recently. One can experience the earthy oneness with nature with the door wide open. It doesn’t get any more real, without the bother of  nettles getting at places you rather they would have not come into contact with. Then the builders came.

They were warned, but didn’t seem to understand what was so special about the whole toilet experience, and the door ended up not facing out to the garden any more, and members of the household wandered around aimlessly, before migrating to the charmless upstairs loo instead. The old downstairs toilet was replaced too, but although my brother saluted it forlornly as the skip did its last tour past our house, he didn’t mourn it as long as the loss of his solitary morning moments with nature.

The outside loo, despite the changes, will never be as grim and depressing as Irish Rail’s loo offering, which consists of a big-buttoned sliding door which the occupants often neglect to lock. No point in leaving a door open here, as the only landscape you will be in is the sterile photographic one that the curved walls are plastic-coated with;  a view across fields containing pixelated cows and interrupted occasionally by giant buttons urging you  to for God’s sake LOCK THE DOOR!