As far as I can gather the term Water Closet dates back to the 1880s with the invention of the flushing toilet enabling toilets to be inside instead of at the back of the house. Water closet, toilet, lavatory or whatever you would like to call it; for mothers it is often a retreat. The only room in the house with a lock.
The after-school rush of afternoon tea and homework had passed so I went in to the smallest room of the house for a few minutes of peace before starting to cook tea. When my five minutes was up I tried to open the door but it remained securely locked. As hard as I tried, I could not get the door open. I looked at the small high window and realised that I couldn’t use it as an exit without sustaining major damage to me and the window. I called the children to see if they could help me and finally I asked them to ring the locksmith.
There was obviously a very interesting conversation going on between my oldest daughter and the locksmith but eventually she informed my that he was coming and would arrive in 20 minutes.
As I was waiting I amused myself by singing:
Oh, dear, what can the matter be
Three old ladies locked in the lavatory
They were there from Monday to Saturday
Nobody knew they were there
The locksmith was most surprised when he realised that Nicole had been telling the truth and it was not some practical joke. It didn’t take him long to remove the door handle and I was able to exit with rather a red face. He told me that it is very easy to remove the door handle from the inside. All I needed was a screw driver!
That was the first time I was locked in the toilet. The second time happened much later in Florence. We were staying in a rather old and dilapidated caravan park and the ablution block was quite a walk from our Motor home. The doors to the facilities were very old, like everything else about the place. The doors opened inward and when I tried to get out I found that my door was well and truly jammed. Again I had to call for help and a young Swedish backpacker came to my rescue. She managed to open the door from the outside.
The little room, the toilet, the water closet is sometimes a safe retreat but doesn’t feel so safe when I can’t escape.