Perhaps I`d better explain. In Uk the term `spending a penny` is an euphemism for visiting the bathroom. It originates from the times when public lavatories charged an old penny (pre decimal) to use the facilities – a sturdy bronze box attached to the front of each door into which the penny was dropped in order to gain entrance.
I bought the book shown above when it was first published in 1978 – a glorious history of the lavatory and washing facilities in general – beautifully illustrated with photographs (including Charles I`s magnificent `Thunder Box` – a portable loo which he used when traveling – embellished in red velvet with a seat made of the same material thoughtfully stuffed with horsehair. Just had a thought here – having sat on a sofa stuffed with horsehair as I child I can remember how it prickled – even through my clothes!!!!). There is also the lavatory used by Queen Victoria on her Royal Train – what a magnificent structure. Tripping down Memory Lane there is a picture of the three-seater that was in the cottage in Yorkshire where we lived during part of World War II. I can remember clearly my Mother bursting into tears when my Father (who had found the cottage to rent) showed her the outside lavatory – a scrubbed pine seat with large hole for Father, medium hole for Mother and a smaller one for me!
Many years ago I loaned the book to someone who did not return it – I have no idea who held onto my treasured book but not to worry. Life went on without it.
The other day I was browsing the Amazon site and, to my amazement, came across `Temples of Convenience` by Lucinda Lambton – my wonderful book, and the price – you`ve got to believe this – was ONE PENNY!