A Tale of Three Toilets

A Tale of Three Toilets

Warning: this is YET ANOTHER BLOG POST about the extreme levels of mess in my house. Because, yes, I AM still talking about that. To make up for it, and in order to keep things somewhat seasonal, here is a spooky cupcake to go with your morning coffee:

coffee and cupcake

Honestly, that’s really about as good as this post gets, so proceed at your own risk, and don’t come asking for your money back when you realise you just sat and read 2,000 words about toilet brush holders. And lo, a new depth was reached in the world of lifestyle blogging!

So, remember last week’s post, in which I mentioned (quite a few times, actually…) that there was a toilet in my kitchen, and it was really quite annoying? Oh, the innocence of last week! I really didn’t know how good I had it back then, because this week? This week there were TWO TOILETS in my kitchen. And also one in the cupboard under the stairs. (At least, I THINK it’s in the cupboard under the stairs. That cupboard is Terry’s Domain, which means I basically just try to pretend it doesn’t exist, or the level of mess inside it will actually destroy my sanity. Also part of Terry’s Domain: Terry’s Wardrobe. I’m actually starting to hyperventilate just thinking about that thing.) Soooo, that’s THREE additional toilets in the house, none of which is actually in a bathroom. AWESOME. Just … awesome.

And WHY do we have three extra toilets, none of which is in a bathroom, I hear absolutely no one ask? I will tell you.

TOILET # 1 is the toilet which was originally resident in the powder room. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it, but we ripped it out anyway, because we wanted to replace it with a “floating” toilet. (Which is a toilet that sticks out from the wall, rather than rising up from the floor, in case you were wondering. It doesn’t ACTUALLY float, although that would be fantastic. And also a bit strange.) Or, rather, TERRY wanted to replace it with a floating toilet. This will possibly come as a surprise to some of you, given how fussy I can be about clothes and shoes, but I’m actually fairly laid-back about toilets. Floating, non-floating… it’s all the same to me. Not so much for Terry, however, which is how we came to acquire…

TOILET # 2. Also known as “Floating Toilet # 1′. Or Lord Floating Toilet the 1st: whatever floats your… toilet. The problem with T2 was that it was so large it didn’t actually float. Which is a problem for a floating toilet, I’m sure you’ll agree. If we placed the toilet on the floor, it was exactly the right height. But we didn’t WANT it on the floor. What’s the point of buying a floating toilet, after all, if you’re not going to allow it to float? If you’re going to – metaphorically speaking – clip its porcelain wings, and not permit it to fulfill its one purpose in life: to float, wild and free, a few inches above the bathroom floor?

So Terry tried raising it to what he felt was an appropriate “floating” height, and we began a bizarre process whereby I would be summoned to sit on the toilet to test the height, while Terry held it steady, and we both prayed to God that no one would walk past the kitchen window while we were doing this. (Because the toilet was still in the kitchen at this point, obviously. Well, where else would you float your toilet?)

“How is it?” asked Terry anxiously, as I raised myself up onto my tiptoes and tried to pretend I wasn’t getting a nosebleed from the sheer height of the thing.

“It’s … fine!” I said brightly, having learned my lesson the day before, when he’d bitten my head off for daring to take issue with one of his powder-room-plans. “IT’S TOO LATE TO TELL ME THAT NOW!” he had shouted, his eyes wild with the anguish of a man who has spent the past week renovating a bathroom AND kitchen simultaneously. After that, I learned to pick my battles. The floating toilet, I decided, would not be one of them.

“I mean, it’s definitely usable,” I told him, encouragingly. “I’ll just… maybe need to wear my highest heels when I use it!” Terry’s face darkened. “I could keep them on a shelf, by the door!” I said, quickly. “It could be a Thing. Or we could build a little step going up to it, as if it was a throne!”

At this point I realised we were actually in danger of having a toilet that would look like it had been kicked off the Game of Thrones set for being a bit too high, so I abandoned my ‘placate Terry at all costs’ plan.

“The only thing is…” I said, “It’s fine for me, obviously, and I’m TOTES happy to just wear heels around the house all the time, but if anyone smaller than me tries to use it, well, I honestly think they’ll find it a bit awkward.”

“We don’t know anyone smaller than you,” retorted Terry.

I immediately named at least five people we know who are smaller than me. (OK, some of them were children, but STILL…)

My parents were summoned.

“It’s too high,” said my mum immediately. “You can’t have a too-high toilet. Amber will fall off it and hurt herself.”

So we contacted the place we’d bought the toilet from, and they agreed to replace it with…

TOILET # 3 – Sir Toilet the Third. ALSO a floating toilet, but this time an ACTUAL floating toilet: not just one that would SAY it was a floating toilet, but require you to use a small ladder to sit on it. It arrived on Wednesday. For some reason, even though it was sent by the same company we got T2 from – and was, in fact, a replacement for T2 – they decided to wait until Thursday to pick up T2 itself. So now we had three toilets. Would T3 be the One Toilet to Rule Them All, though?

In a word? No.

“They haven’t sent the bracket I need to fit it,” said Terry, through gritted teeth. “And even if they had, it’ll be physically impossible to fit it, because of < boring technical details >. I want to die now.”

But he jumped into the car, the poor brave soul, and went and bought a boring technical thing for T3.

“They’ve given me the wrong part,” he said when he got back.

And then we gave up, got roaring drunk, and I’m writing this from the beach in Hawaii, because we decided to just sell the house and go on the run. On no, wait: we didn’t. That was just a dream I had. Loved that dream.

Back in the land of reality, however, Terry DID finally manage to get T3 fitted by Thursday morning, it was declared to be “working”. Then on Friday it wasn’t working. Then it was working again, but Terry wasn’t happy with it. Last time I asked him what was going on with it, he shot me a look that said, “Don’t you dare ask me about that toilet ever again.” So I didn’t. I have no idea what’s happening with it. I DO know this whole process has driven Terry almost to the brink, though, because last Friday night we were sitting watching TV (over the top of the kitchen drawers, the toaster and assorted other kitchen-related items which are currently in the living room…) when I noticed him frantically scrolling through eBay on his phone.

“Terry!” I said. “We’re supposed to be relaxing, remember? What are you doing?”

“I’m looking for a low-profile toilet brush holder,” he said, as if that was a totally normal thing to be doing on a Friday night. “Because the current toilet brush holder won’t look right in the new bathroom, and do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a well-designed toilet-brush holder? The people who design these things have no vision, SERIOUSLY. And it’s these details that will make or break it!”

(The thing you need to understand about Terry here is that he’s a stickler for the details. No toilet brush is too small, or too insignificant, for him not to complain that its designer was lacking in vision. Apparently none of the great artists of our time are pouring their energy into toilet brush design: WHO KNEW?”)

“Well,” I said, getting up to pour myself another glass of wine. “We’re really living the dream now, huh? Here we are: Friday night and we’re sitting in our living room, surrounded by toilets, and complaining that we don’t have a low-profile toilet brush holder.”

He hasn’t spoken to me since. To be fair to him, mind you, when I was a little girl, I used to say to my mum, “Mummy, when I grow up, I want to have a low-profile toilet brush holder.” Aim high, people, aim high. As high as floating toilet #1, even.

Anyway, the TL;DR of this is that our powder room looks like this now:

powder room: during

It’s not so much a powder room now as it is … just a room, basically. Maybe we could just seal it closed, and pretend it doesn’t exist? And then, many years from now, someone will open up the legendary “secret room” in the house they just bought, and wonder what mysteries it contains. A end to the powder room saga, AND the plot of a crappy novel, all in one! (Also, I think I’ve just solved the mystery of all of those so-called “secret rooms” in old castles and stately homes. They weren’t “secret” at all: they were just early attempts at installing floating toilets…)

And I haven’t even MENTIONED the dustbowl that used to be my kitchen yet. I’m saving THAT for another post. Lucky, lucky you!”

Oh, and we still haven’t ordered the low profile toilet roll holder, either.

How was your week?

P.S. I write a weekly diary which goes out every Friday to my subscribers. Sign up below to get on the list...

books by Amber Eve
  • My week wasn’t as fun as yours. My husband and son are ill enough to be running fevers, and I ran my car off the road. Cars fine, I’m fine, just scared me more than anything else. And gave my husband more fodder for his “my wife’s a terrible driver” shtick. I’m jealous of that cupcake though. However being that your husband isn’t speaking to you, and mine is mocking me, I think you won this week (clearly I’m teasing, and we both deserve all the shoes and cupcakes)
    Fashion and Happy Things

    November 1, 2014
  • I can’t believe how much I enjoyed reading your toilet related post! Love these Saturday morning posts and the new layout Amber, please don’t ever stop blogging!
    My week has been a bit of a disaster itself, having driven my poor little car through a rather large puddle/mini river on Tuesday morning causing it to start flashing warning lights at me. Here’s hoping it isn’t badly damaged.

    November 1, 2014
  • Myra


    I enjoyed this week’s post and on the plus side, you do have a great image on the wall xx

    November 1, 2014
  • Cristina


    This was just hilarious. I really hope you get to fix your home soon but until then keep the funny posts coming, haha. My week has been flooded by University assignments and shoe wish lists but here’s a cheer up for everyone that I found in a hunt for writer’s challenges [it was about a black and white world where you get to keep one coloured item]:
    The world was stripped of color.
    All was black and white.
    Everything looked as if,
    it was bathed in low moonlight.
    Yet there was one color left,
    were all other hues had fled.
    That was my bank account,
    which was still in the red.

    Now I’m paranoid about your copyright post so here’s the link http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/the-only-color/ but if it’s not ok, just delete my comment and I won’t mind at all. I just needed to share this because it’s too good. I wish you the best and cleanest week!

    November 1, 2014
  • Not as bad as yours, I must say! The worst was a cold that was very tolerable during the day, but made me wake up every hour at night because I couldn’t breathe. Sleeping with my head up on a pillow helped, but then I woke up with muscles hurting all over my neck and back. That part is much better now, tho, and now I only wake up with a very very dry throat, and I have to gesticulate to my boyfriend that I need tea as soon as I wake up. I call that progress!

    Can’t wait to hear the kitchen stories, maybe they’ll have a solution for my current dilemma of what to do with the things in the cupboard under the sink, that is slowly falling apart and leaving wood shards all over my bowls…

    November 1, 2014
  • Ágata Franco


    I’m working at this moment. I couldn’t stop laughing when reading this post. You’re so so very funny. Thank you.

    November 1, 2014
  • Not going to lie, was reading this in bed this morning and had to go get a coffee and some breakfast before I continued. Maybe im just easily suggestible, or maybe you should hook up with nespresso for this feature!

    November 2, 2014
  • I work for a home decorating mag. Terry really isn’t the only one to care about toilet brush holders to this degree. Take comfort 🙂
    As for my week… well, just as my bruise on my knee from last week’s chase-the-puppy-with-my-underpants incident has faded, I went out on Halloween night and got into a fight with the street pavement. And by fight I mean missed the step exiting the restaurant and went face first into the pavement. To add to my humiliation, the restaurant wouldn’t let me get up until an ambulance came (fair call, I’d fallen hard) and so I had to lay face down sprawled on the pavement with diners exiting the restaurant stepping over me, and the police man quizzing my friends about whether I was drunk, and the security guard holding my face, breathing in street dirt. When the ambulance finally arrived I realised my face, hands and shoulder were bleeding, and my elbow was mighty bruised. The ambulance driver then had to delicately suggest I wipe the dirt off my chest, which had asphalt marks ingrained into it from my time face down. So now I’ve got a sling on my left arm, bruised knuckles on my left hand, and a swollen, bruised, scraped up cheek bone with a black eye as a result of that. I swear I’m not normally this accident prone.

    November 2, 2014
  • I can’t remember how my week was; I’m too busy crying with laughter at the thought of having to wear my highest heels to reach a floating toilet. Who would have thought that 2,000 words about a toilet could be so funny?

    Living the dream, indeed!

    November 4, 2014
  • Elizabeth


    You should definitely seal off the powder room- but before you do you should fill it with weird stuff.
    Go out amd buy a hundred dolls or rubber ducks and put them all in there so when our hypothetical future person opens up the secret room there’s just this see of eyes staring at him/her.

    Much better than a time capsule….

    July 17, 2015