strivetoengage

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Memories from my childhood – Toilet under the stars

Moving to a bush block with no amenities means a lot of considerations that most people living in modern wealthy societies do not need to think about, except perhaps when camping at a spot without facilities. One of the first considerations was sanitation. We needed a toilet solution.

I hope that it isn’t too crass to be explicit but we had two solutions: for wee, we walked about 10m from the shed and squatted on the grassy hillside with a very nice view across the verdant valley.  For poo, we had a dunny, a large plastic bucket inside a cylindrical tin frame with a black toilet set and lid on top. My Dad called it the throne. The dunny was placed outdoors under a nice tree on the hill above the shed about 40m walk away and screened from view from the shed by a hill. It also had a lovely view across the valley to the sandstone cliffs on the other side.

I have several memories relating to the dunny. When I was 6 I heard on the radio about Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed. She was a Hungarian noblewoman who was accused of torturing and killing hundreds of young women between 1585 and 1609. According to the ABC radio program that I heard in 1983 she had an elaborate set-up to drain the blood of virgins and the pipes were connected to her bath-tub so that she could bathe in the blood of virgins. I could vividly visualise the set-up and I was terrified for many months after hearing that piece on the radio. Suddenly I hated living in a remote location and I was convinced that her guards were lurking around my farm and would jump out and snatch me. It seems that even at the age of 6 I had some concept of what a virgin was and I felt vulnerable. 

The very worst experience for me at that time was when I had yet another of my many childhood cases of diarrhea and had to run out of the shed in the dark in the middle of the night (several times per night for a few nights), up the hill, away from the safety of my family to use the dunny. I was terrified. I developed a habit of pivoting rapidly to the left for 180 degrees and then back the other way as fast as I could to try to see in the starlight if anyone was following me. I can still feel the terror of knowing that I could be snatched at any moment. Thankfully the Hungarian noble woman hadn’t perfected time travel and nobody ever abducted me. I definitely preferred using the dunny during the day! 

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2 comments on “Memories from my childhood – Toilet under the stars

  1. Pingback: Memories from my childhood – Installing a water supply | strivetoengage

  2. Pingback: Memories from my childhood – Land Rover  | strivetoengage

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This entry was posted on July 24, 2017 by in Me and tagged , , , , .
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