Ayah, so, it's no secret that I seem to have a weird thing about fabulous bathrooms. Maybe it's because for the last few years I have not had a fabulous bathroom.
Maybe it's because when I was a kid we lived overseas, in countries where, compared to the standard 1960s tiny tub and pink sink, the bathrooms were fabulous indeed--huge deep tubs, bidets (which make perfect Barbie swimming pools don't you know) and towering pedestal sinks.
I vividly remember our first trip to Paris, where we stayed in a tiny hotel that had all the early 20th century mod cons, including a tub the size of a cattle trough, which sat dainty on claw-feet. No shower, of course. I got out of the tub the first day, misjudged the drop to the floor (American tubs always sit square on mother earth), and almost beaned myself on the cast-iron edge.
Then, in my callow youth, I lived in an apartment that had, in addition to a water closet, a bathroom that was the size of a small bedroom. It was big enough to contain a sofa, a chest of drawers, an enormous bathroom, and a small sink. We painted the room blood red, and lit it with candles. The flat had no heat, so during the winter, I would fill the enormous tub with boiling hot water, and lie on the sofa reading by candlelight. That tub was big enough to fit three girls, sitting like peas in a pod, or one girl floating completely stretched out, and, when full of hot water, it generated enough steam to turn the room into a sauna. Ah, that tub...
Anyway, now I have a very un-fantastic bathroom and no tub at all. But I try to make up for this lack in my stories which often contain wish-fulfillment lavs. Or characters, who like me, lack fabulous bathrooms (or fluffy towels) and crave both.
Bringing me to the true point of this post, which is to that the FT has an article about some truly fantastic potties. The article was written by Lucinda Lambton, who also has published a history of fabulous loos called Temples of Convenience, which looks totally awesome. There was a golden age of bathrooms--and we are not now in it.
To paraphrase Tolkien: "Indoor plumbing is a noble thing!"