Fairview Homestead | knitting is the new yoga,but actually the inspirational topic for this blog post is—toilets.
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knitting is the new yoga,but actually the inspirational topic for this blog post is—toilets.

Knitting is the new yoga, but actually, the inspirational topic for this blog post is an issue with toilet seats…

I doubt there is anyone out there who is not yet aware that I can now claim the title GRANDMOTHER. It is with the greatest of self-discipline that I do not insist that every guest looks at photos on my mobile phone before they are allowed to enjoy breakfast. I became a champion knitter overnight – shortly after Luella’s birth I woke up with tennis elbow pain and suddenly realised: I just finished my 6th jersey for 2-month-old Luella – no wonder!!

But back to toilets…


Luella-se-truitjieAt Fairview we take the comfort of our guests to heart. So when a guest tells me that the toilet seat is uncomfortable, I am not going to ignore that complaint. I am going to use that toilet to get up to speed with the level of comfort my guests are expected to enjoy (or not) when they spend a penny. Initially, I thought he was exaggerating, but then I reminded myself that I am far better padded than he seemed to have been and he mentioned that he liked to read his newspaper on the loo, so maybe sit a few more minutes. Being a multi-tasker, I sat, mentally making to-do lists in my mind and yes, the discomfort grew proportionately to the length of my to-do list. Not excruciatingly uncomfortable, but yes, uncomfortable.

I am forever upgrading, replacing, renewing, all the time beating myself up about how I can ensure that my guests are comfortable because let’s face it – when they stay at Fairview there are enough little idiosyncrasies typical to a house over 150 years old that they have to put up with. This particular bathroom had one of those old-fashioned toilets with a high cistern that you flush by pulling a chain and about 3 months ago I decided to replace it as it was just too noisy and used too much water.  Quirkiness had to make way for practicality.

I remember when I bought the toilet I was skeptical about the square shape of the toilet seat, but because the toilet had to cover the markings made by the old toilet and had to have a section that covered the ugly drain pipes at the back that was really the best choice. Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought it necessary to work up the row of toilets on display to find the most comfortable one. Yet, that is what I will do when I buy the new toilet for the Banksia Annex in the making. In the meantime – who has a knitting pattern for a padded toilet seat cover?!

Philda Benkenstein
benkenstein@mweb.co.za

In 1995 we moved from Namibia to a town called George on the Garden Route in South Africa - we found a wonderful property,first registered in 1861. The place was very neglected, but I undertook to start a guest house, so that the house could at least pay for its own upkeep after the restoration, and of course - for Desmond's garden. That is the start of my life as a guest house owner and this is the story of a house and garden,lovingly restored and shared with our guests, with family and friends...

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