I enjoyed the company of a couple of friends last night who were medics. Medics are very matter of fact people, to whom bodily functions holds no embarrassment, so they were ideal to ask the question about camper vans that was bothering me the most. Using a dump station. Having a middle aged bladder inevitably means a midnight visit to the loo, regardless of when I have my last drink in the evening, (even if it is at 6pm.) My first thoughts on reading the spec. on the van was - does it have a loo, or do I need to tramp through the campsite to the loo in the night? Luckily it does have a loo, and so my time out of bed will be reduced. With two middle aged women the problem is doubled, although W is determined to use it as little as possible.
So - I had to ask, how do you empty it? The reply was - with great care - you must get the angle right or risk splash-back. A fellow BBQ guest asked if you could just leave the top off, and let it drain while you were driving. Apparently not, as solid matter gets left behind. The next question was - how often? every couple of days. Mmm I thought - there was 4 of them and only two of us, I'll get away with once every four days, and if W takes a turn, then that's every eight days.
A bloke at work suggested buying a crate of beer. If we looked girly and helpless, then a man would come to the rescue, based on the principle that most men could be bought with a bottle of beer - solve the problem and beer is the reward. Got to be a real gentleman though to deal with bodily functions, and someone else's at that, without embarassment to anyone.
D also advised that emptying with a hangover is not an easy thing to do either. I said, but its only a matter of connecting up a pipe. Oh no, he said, think of a 40 litre water butt that you have to carry to a drain, and tip. Mmm, I now know why the angle is so critical, and why emptying frequently is a better strategy - less to carry and splashback on pouring. Wellies might also need packing.
I thought if we toss for emptying, I must find that double headed coin.....
I think I've just established the first tour rule for the pair of us. At a minimum, number 2's have to be done in a public or campsite loo.
D also told us of the time (as the only Brit), he went sailing for 6 weeks in the crystal clear blue Australian seas. On using the heads, he flushed it away. In boats, that all goes out to sea, as it cannot be stored. As he returned to deck, one of his Aussie mates said, Blimey, who's done that one. As D was the last one to use the heads, he had to own up, but his embarrassment was tinted with pride, as they were impressed by the scale of the thing. Makes you proud to be British.
In true British style, a blog about the national obsession with bowels.
I chose this song by Kraftwerk, not because it was relevant, although the subject of the blog is generally what I would like to do to their music, but because I enjoyed the quote by Bill Bailey in the Metro this morning, where he described seeing the group in concert as watching as a bunch of carpet fitters in a warehouse typing on their computers.