I've delayed publishing this post until I think most readers will have had breakfast.
Sometimes I shake my head in despair at our modern society and this is one reason why.
It's a well known fact that a simple solution to world health issues is toilets. I remember visiting Paris when I was young, only to have to squat behind a screen to relieve myself. It's an experience I'll never forget because I stood the wrong way round and soaked my feet. Since then, on the odd occasion during my travels, I've come across 'holes in the ground' and have clutched my trouser legs or skirt firmly in my hands as there's no way squatting is comfortable.
Thanks to the efforts of British pioneers we have the best designed toilets in the world - not only from a comfort aspect but more importantly a hygiene one. Squat toilets are favoured over flush toilets in many parts of Asia as they don't require expensive modern plumbing systems but I certainly regard them as far less hygienic and they have no place in our culture.
Proponents of the above squat toilet, also known as a Turkish toilet or Nile pan, claim there are health benefits to squatting rather than sitting and perhaps that's why the newly upgraded toilets in Rochdale's shopping centre will have a squat toilet in both the ladies and gents. Canterbury Prison recently installed one for foreign inmates as part of a £17,000 upgrade.
The excuse given by the centre managers, who recently attended a cultural training course, is that one in ten of Rochdale's population is Pakastani or Bangladeshi and the managers have been told some members of the local Asian community prefer them for cultural reasons.
Another step backwards for this country. Why has Rochdale planning authority permitted the introduction of these facilities in an area open to the public? Surely if there are those living in country who prefer this style of toilet then, out of respect to the majority, they should install them in the privacy of their own homes. Thank goodness I'm of the age when I can get free incontinence pads which I'm sure would be much more preferable than sliding around in another's effluent, clutching my clothing and handbag, and perhaps a carrier bag or two of shopping.