My friends and colleagues are regularly regaled with my tales of woe. Usually about the near-freezing conditions I find myself coping with when getting changed in the village hall toilets of Norfolk and Suffolk.
Ludham, for example. A tiny, elderly village hall which had heaters blazing for the tiny, elderly WI members within. My changing quarters were the other side of the door in, as usual, the heater-less toilet area.
This cobbled together, lean-to structure was, I imagine, built in the days before planning regulations. The days when people were made of sterner stuff than I and only required a single brick's thickness of wall to seperate them from the elements.
But I am a 20th Century wuss. I wear thermals from September to April. And I started to shiver hopelessly, waiting there with merely my Wide Open Wednesdays to combat the Wide Open Winter.
Ludham was probably the coldest toilet I've ever changed in. Other venues have been cold too, also including a sort of creeping damp, mingled with any combination of airfresheners, no airfresheners, urinals, ladders, brooms, bins, baby-changing shelves, industrial bleach, toilet paper mountains, and the bewildered stares of local youths. It's cold, it's yukky, but it's also for only about twenty minutes each time, and I survive it. I shouldn't grumble, but after all, I am British.
However, on 18th February I visited Surrey Chapel in Norwich to give my Queen Elizabeth talk. I had been booked by a friend and former colleague who had listened (well, sat there, anyway) on many occasions while I bemoaned my latest Sub-Zero Toilet Excursions.
The picture at the top is what greeted me when I got to Surrey Chapel. A toilet with a working radiator, baby-changer bedecked with fairy lights, the mirror surrounded by tinsel, a motivating sentiment and a picture of my beloved Dudley! Brilliant- Thank you Christina, you surely win the prize for Best Kept Toilet- what a great start to the evening!