chester sinks

Sometimes I can get very involved in my lavatorial sleuthing, and will lurk in cubicles for hours at a time as other ladies go about their sometimes fascinating business, waiting for the coast to be clear for risky angle photography and hand-dryer experiments that verge on radical science!

On my visit to the Chester Beatty bogs, I was held up by two separate ladies for a total of about 13 minutes as they both went about very strange rituals at the sinks. The first was a young Spanish woman, who after washing her hands, continued to make numerous invisible adjustments to her hairstyle. It was very odd as she had that kind of very slicked back unmovable ponytail thing going on, held up with the inevitable orange scrunchy (shudder). There was some kind of product keeping the scraped back hair in shiny raked neatness and keeping the loose curls at the back impossibly crisp. She also had those two loose strands at the front that were so inexplicably popular at my secondary school in the late 90s.

So, as I was saying, after washing her hands she started making slight adjustments, tweaking individual curls, pressing down the already rock solid hair on her crown, fingering and twisting the frontal strands framing her neanderthal brow, and without making ant noticeable difference to her appearance she continued doing this for over 5 minutes!

When she finally buggered off I finally made my move to escape the cubicle and take the photo seen above, but was instantly thwarted by a second lady who flushed and made it to the sink seconds before me. I maintained my hiding place as Lady number two washed her hands. Now, this one appeared to be older, and less vain than her predecessor, she was maybe in her 50s, and sensibly dressed for a peaceful morning enjoying Oriental art. After drying her hands, she started to leave. I thought I was safe, but no! She caught her reflection in the mirror, took a second closer glance at her fringe, frowned and ruffled her hair thoughtfully, and then began a long process of pulling out her individual grey hairs over the sink.

SILLY WOMEN! I was stuck in my cubicle for further precious minutes, but finally did get out and took the following pictures and came to the following conclusions:

beatty bog

The Chester Beatty Toilets are lovely, they have a very simple deep red and white colour scheme, keeping it classic without being too plain or clinical.

ches mirrorstrange stain

A generous variety of mirrors, although far too tempting for the hair-vain lady unfortunately. But what is this! a freakishly circular stain on a ceiling tile! (by the way, I despise ceiling tiles, minus a million points Mr Beatty) but what could have made that stain? my mind is swimming with theories. An impressively aimed urination? a hair-gel explosion? maybe someone dropped a Goodfellas pizza on to the top of the tile and the grease seeped through? I’d love to hear your suggestions, why not send me some!

So that’s the Chester Beatty Library bogs. Well worth a visit, and why not stay for a gander round the arty historial stuff too? You might even learn something to distract you from your own hair…

Thank you.

The Ladies loos on the ground floor of the London Science Museum are disappointingly un-sciency. I was hoping for some kind of NASA approved space-age bum-improving self-cleaning wonder-bog, but alas. They are more like the bogs you might have had in your school science dept. at best.

The highlight is, again, the Dyson hand-dryer, which doesn’t seem quite as impressive in these surroundings. I have also come across this contraption so frequently at this point, that I am beginning to see him as rather the slut of the toilet world. Bring back the humble towel dispenser!

The colour scheme is pleasant and inoffensive and I do somewhat like the schooly vibe, especially the retro wooden doors with a ‘no smoking’ sign on every single one! I half expected a man with a lab coat and a neck beard to appear, confiscate our cigarettes and hand out detentions to those of us not in school uniform.

Seriously. DO NOT smoke in here. Or no more science for you!

Seriously. DO NOT smoke in here. Or no more science for you!

I often wonder if anyone really looks at the exhibitions in the V&A, because the restaurant, the gift shop and the toilets are AMAZING. That was a little shallow of me, they do have some great stuff in there, especially the old musical instruments. But honestly I could happily eat all my meals in the restaurant, equip myself for anything in the shop, live in the toilets, and never ever have to leave the V&A.
The toilets are vast, and a delightful shade of buttercup yellow (these are the basement ones, I’m pretty sure there are some others, but they were closing. I’ll be back though). They have the aforementioned bloody brilliant Dyson hand-dryers, and enough mirrors to satisfy even Mr. Vain himself.



There is a really cool kind of sink-bar along the middle of the room with mirrors starting at neck height, so that you can romantically share a sink with someone, yet never see their face.

The toilets are clean and well kept, despite the enormous number of cubicles, they smell nice and are just very satisfying.

Thank you dead royals!