Friday: We’re getting ready to go for our first quick pint in forever when a parcel arrives. Richard has been waiting for this one to land, and again for the customs payment to go through and for it to be released to us. Something special from America. A big box, which on first opening seems to offer little more than plastic pipes and the kinds of container you might find in any recycling bin.
We leave unpacking ’til we’ve got home, a bit merry, from the Random Arms. A clear plastic milk bottle adorned with Sharpie-scrawled instructions is lifted. “This is our urine container” he smiles. I’m half cut and this actually impresses me.
We’ve discussed this thing for a long time. Neither of us ever wanted a plumbed in sea-loo, what with the extra skin fitting, their notoriety for stinking to high heaven if abandoned for long and their predilection for developing a fault just when you weren’t in the mood to sift through your own faeces to fix it (read: ever). But our trusty luxury bucket isn’t remotely luxurious, and we don’t use it for any more than wee unless far from land, because that smells. It also just isn’t the done thing for a conscientious sea dweller. It’s fine to empty out in the deep but not so kind on the swimmers of Cawsand bay, and without a storage tank illegal in many places like America.
So eventually we scanned the internet and settled on the C-Head, a portable composting system that will allow us to keep our excretions to ourselves. I won’t go in to it much – you can read up if you’re so inclined – but the idea is we’ll be able to store a lot of poo before having to find somewhere responsible to (ahem) dump it.
Far sturdier than we’d feared and a piece of piss (ahem) to assemble, the new heads finds its home. I am given the honour of first (bit drunk) piss. During this and many subsequent urinations I attempt to perfect a technique that will keep my stream firmly in the front compartment, headed for that little milk bottle. And I fail.
It’s frustrating. I’m a girl. We haven’t been fitted with the necessary pipe work. We don’t generally worry about aim. Even out in the wild it’s just “miss your feet” and “don’t fall over”. Now I’m confronted by seemingly impossible precision manoeuvring – try as I might some of the wee almost always drips in to the back container which, when in action, has to be kept dry for aerating turd-laden coconut husk.
Saturday: We are laid bare, stunned by a fantastic candle lit gig up at Maker Heights, glowing with friends we’ve missed during our hibernation. The music is accompanied by a few more drinks, and when we get home late in the evening I boldly try a new technique. Perched as far forward as I can squash my legs and with my back straight up I go to release an inevitable spring born of several large wines. It hits the seat, then the wall, and then the floor. There is much yelping and mopping up.
Thursday: You’ll be pleased to know I’ve got there, and both halves of the C-Head are now in use, smell-free and simple as promised. No more rushed dressing in the morning to run for the marina toilets! I’m going to design a new sign for the toilet wall, one which no visitor will be allowed to ignore. Among the instructions for operation will be my best, hard learned advice to women “Rest your knees against the wall, lean slightly forward, hope for the best. If you didn’t hear plastic, you’ve fucked it up. If you only missed a little bit – don’t tell anyone.”
If this is your first visit to this blog, sorry. It’s not all like this.