I don’t think
I’ve ever seen an oil painting featuring a plunger. They’re usually show fruit
in a bowl, orchids, barges, rolling hills and people.
Whenever I drive
across to the coast at Lytham I normally call in at the Lowther Pavilion just
off the front. There’s a theatre in there, café and ice cream stall. My mum
used to love the cheese and onion pie and chips and frothy coffees in the cafe.
Though we would had a full day on the Fylde coast I think she preferred the
eating and people-watching in that café more than anything. Once I went to the
toilet and saw someone had put roll around the seat so their bum cheeks didn’t
touch it (see photo) and another time there was a man stood on the rim ramming
a plunger into the bowl. He was panting and sweating slightly. Loo paper was strewn
over the wet floor. This scene has always stuck in my mind and now it’s come
out in the form of a small painting.
didn’t take long and I took few photos. I chose purple loo paper as I rent out
some flats and had to get a plumber out once to unblock a main pipe outside. It
was blocked with purple toilet roll but not one of the five residents would own
up to buying it.
These days when I
go to Lytham I call at the Lowther Pavilion and have a stroll around the
gardens. I always stop by the pond hoping one of my goldfish will bob up to say
“hello dude.” When I sold a house in Todmorden I wasn’t
sure the new owner would care for my fish so I put them in a bowl, drove an
hour to Lytham and put them in the pond. They’ll be about nine years old now.
Nobody knows who invented the plunger but it was probably
not long after the toilet was improved with the “U” bend. Something was needed
to clear blockages without getting your hands dirty. There are no patents
beyond those of Samuel Prosser in 1777 regarding a plunger-like mechanism that
If in doubt pick nose…
It was the man stood on this toilet
at The Lowther Pavilion who inspired the painting…
I always look for the fish I put in
this pond when I pass by but I’ve yet to see them…