Flush with Morny

Within her Balham flat, my nan had an inside toilet. 

An outside toilet would have been, three-floors up, singularly impractical, also, her sense of balance was poor, and she constantly refused abseiling lessons.

My nan’s toilet did suggest many a mystery: did every old person’s toilet always contain a tin of pre-war talc; smelling salts (you didn’t sniff those by accident twice) and an empty bottle of 4711 eau de cologne?  I often wondered whether eau de cologne was some form of Franco-German mouth wash?

Which leads directly on to, and begs the question: who on earth came up with “toilet water”?  Not even eau de toilette lightens the thought of popping something behind your ear which smells like Harpic.  I assume the “before” toilet water is more expensive than the “after” version? 😊

Did this idea come from people escaping from revolutionary France armed only with a secret selection of toilet ducks containing toilet water? And what marketing whizz suggested calling it that?

However, it was in this “smallest” room which determined why I’d never become a plumber: within the cistern my nan explained was the ballcock, which helped the actual toilet function. 

When you’re eight and prone to giggling at comedic words, I felt my credibility would be blown as a professional plumber, should I ever have had to have uttered the words: “I think it’s your ballcock, love”.

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