Battleaxe’s downstairs loo – an insider’s view

You know you want to! This is a quick post before I go away to Cornwall for a week, for our annual stay in Sennen Cove with Brummie friends.

   So, where were we in the last post? Looking at the fishy display.

   First question, why the fish theme?
   Back in Birmingham we had a Bollywood themed loo, following our big trip to India in 2001. It had Bollywood posters, South Indian buffalo bells and neck garlands displayed on a pair of horns, a dancing Shiva, a fierce Kali on the back of the door, dangling Indian wedding decorations, flashing chilli lights – oh, it was wonderful. Sadly, we have no pictures of it. However, when we wanted to put the house on the market in 2010 the estate agent took one look and nearly passed out. Getting rid of Bollywood was top of the list of things he told us to do to make the house remotely saleable. Sadly, we listened to him.
   When we came to Hastings, there was a nice empty loo crying out for adornment, and given our new environment, fish and the sea seemed appropriate.
   One of my more bonkers collections consists of 1950’s and 60’s lucite chunks, with real sea creatures, shells, seaweed etc. embedded in them.  Yes, I know it is all too wrong, particularly when the creatures are endangered things like sea horses, but these things are long, long dead. It’s a bit like vintage furs. I’d never countenance wearing modern furs, but when you find a 1930’s fur cape, what are you going to do with it?
   The chunks were often holiday souvenirs, brought home by early package tourists from the Costas with the straw donkeys and toreador tea-towels. There are paperweights, pen-holders, ashtrays, book-ends, lamp holders and shiny ornaments – I now have about 20 of them. The best of them are like miniature under-sea worlds. Here are a few examples

    I couldn’t resist this ashtray, an old souvenir from Egypt, with added scary scorpions.

    Then, fishy glass paperweights – I collected quite few, but many are poor quality, made in China presumably, so I have cut back on those. This is a nicer one, possibly Murano.

     There are other things too. All this is just a sample of the total array. Everything needs dusting – urgh.
      I included a picture of these sea urchin cases because, on holiday in Turkey, Philosopher would dive down scarily deep to find them for me. He is a very good swimmer, far better than me, and swims underwater effortlessly.  I seem to be astonishingly buoyant and struggle to get below the surface. After years of practice I can now flounder clumsily down to scrabble a pebble off the bottom when out of my depth.

     Now, some of the things on the walls. Our house is full of pictures, and the loo has its share.

By Hastings local artist Alexandra Leadbeater
Picked up from an art show at the Stade Hall. Can’t remember who the artist is, but it is a very sunny picture.
A watercolour of Gumusluk in Turkey, where we went on holiday ten years running!

    There. You can feel as if you have visited our house.

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