It's frightful but I promise not to put up anymore until I read the instructions for the scanner, which I've had for 4 years and not opened the instruction book or taken the virtual tour. It's on my list to do.
But this belongs to one of those great bonding moments of family life. The final farewell to the outdoor dunny. The sewerage pipes had already gone through along the fence which is why the OD looks a bit respectable in 1967. We were the last in the street to be connected and we didn't have much choice since they threatened to sue us. I don't know where Dad got the money from but he got it.
If we get into the Wayback Machine for 15 years, the picture would look a lot different. No houses behind the fence and in front of the fence 3 huge willow trees trying valiently to soak up drainage water from every other house in the street, ours being the lowland. The race horse lived here for a time. Never a need for laxettes when a huge horse decides to open the door and say hello. There was a fence right alongside the OD to keep him in, insert horse laugh here, the beast would simply lie down and roll under it and one night managed to jump the front fence, the only hurdle he ever went over and trotted back to his former stable.
Back to the OD. Spiders on the rafters, under the seat fighting with earwigs, snails walking under the door. A log of wood by the seat, bang three times to drop the wildlife to the ground and hope you were finished by the time they made it back home. That path in front in 1967, was made of bricks dug firmly in, back in the days it was wooden blocks which floated all over the yard whenever we had a storm. Don't forget this was a quarter acre block and the OD was way down the yard. It amazes me now that father would lock up the house to keep us safe but let us walk to this hell hole in the pitch black while he went back to bed.
Now the little fence at the front usually had some vine growing to hide the door as the neighbourhood grew around us. There was another fence at the side to hide it from the house and it was as high as possible. Mum would grow green beans or sweet peas in order to gentrify the fibro sheeting. It's almost impossible to see but high up on the left hand corner is a patch over the fibro. Sister was a gymnast and the only flat beam to practise on was the top of this fence and we're talking some 6 or more feet off the ground but every afternoon she'd be up there balancing and jumping. This was fine except for the day she slipped and one foot went through the wall and one foot stayed on the fence. My father standing there, with hands in pockets and smile on face said, "That was a good move. How do you get down?". We boarded the hole up since too much moonlight coming in at night had a tendency to show up the spiders.
This was always a dilemma, go in blind and trust or strike a match to see where they were and how many.
Then there was the dunnyman or maybe he deserves capitals, DunnyMan. Many a time we would be standing at the bus stop waiting for the school bus only to see bus and noxious cart come round the corner together and race neck and neck to our stop. The prayers we prayed that the bus would get to us first. Even worse was having one late and the other early and the whole bus would watch with interest as DM, flat hat and spills would trot out with the can.
Let us not forget the creeping out at midnight during holidays so father could dig a hole behind the OD and empty the can before any embarrassing bum contact with contents happened. He got round this by meeting the DM at the pub and exchanging notes ensured a double visit during holidays.
So comes the great day when we are to be connected. We should have had a red ribbon to be cut. Father says there's not enough room in the bathroom and that's opposite the front door so in his own 'Castle' moment, he decides to build a toilet room on the side of the house. Concrete patio, a roof to the door, two windows, a hand basin, full length mirror, carpet, wallpaper and a porcelain throne with a flip up seat. He stopped Mum from going over the top with a small chandelier but gave in after two cheap plastic light covers melted and fell on his head. A pretty glass one went up.
We supervised every inch of the building. We'd gather round the door each night to see how much longer we'd have to wait. The trek down the back became longer and I was sure I'd die of spider bite before entering the holy of holies. As the last curtain went up and the seat came down, Buckingham Palace couldn't have compared with our new toilet, that is toilet, dunny was never to be heard again.