Sunday Meditations on Bathrooms

Kage Baker, as I have mentioned, was a fond and firm devotee of really good bathrooms.

On consideration, I think that maybe this is a X-linked trait, as it seems to crop up a lot more in us setter types than in our pointer brethren. Certainly, while growing up, the most that seemed to concern our brothers was whether or not the lock on the door worked – had they opened that door to see the wild California hillside out there instead of the mirrors and pink tiles of the upstairs bath, they’d have been not only unconcerned but enthusiastic.

At one point in our domestic journey through a series of odd and charming dwellings, Kage and I lived in a cottage by the sea. In the front room the ceilings were normal, but the roof sloped down drastically  from there. By the time you were in the bathroom at the back of the house, the room was not quite 6 feet high. (Kage, at 5’8″, claimed she could touch the ceiling with her tongue.) Our taller male guests could literally not use the toilet while standing. A couple of enterprising gentlemen tried kneeling, or concussed themselves mildly – but most  just stepped out the door conveniently located beside the toilet, and so into our wild back yard. They seemed much happier out there … some species just aren’t meant for domestication.

That was probably our weirdest bathroom, except for those times when we didn’t have one at all. Camping, Renaissance Faire weekends, breakdowns in dubious lands – everyone finds themselves from time to time out of range of clean porcelain and pretty hand towels. It all made Kage more determined with every year to have some haven somewhere where a lady of a certain age could relax in comfort, privacy and hygienic sophistication without climbing on a roof or walking half a mile with a glow stick for protection.


Just recovered from a power failure. Most of this post survived, thank goodness, but it is now very late. And I have spent the day working on the great day tomorrow, when the plumber comes to replace the bathroom vanity, sink and faucets. A new line for the hot water! Discernible water pressure! A white sink instead of the horrid 1950’s robin’s egg blue one that has been in there for years – that one clashes with the colour of the cats, and must go!

Books and magazines have been cleared, the shelves and room heater have been carefully re-distributed, and the piano stool we found under a stack of Scientific Americans has been moved and re-purposed for Dickens Fair.

First vital step in the new bathroom ready for tomorrow!

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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5 Responses to Sunday Meditations on Bathrooms

  1. Neassa says:

    Hurrah for the power being back on, and hurrah for a new piece of Dickens furniture! Lord know, we *always* need more seating. And stools are so wonderfully portable.


  2. Kate says:

    This piano stool screws up and down, which small children usually love. And it has dragon claws clutching crystal spheres.


  3. I remember that bathroom! As short as I am I had considerable bathing difficulties, and remember having to adopt some peculiar posture to micturate.


  4. Kate says:

    As far as we could tell, it was designed for someone actually shorter than ME – and I am barely 5’4″. Like all our male guests, you, Mr. Gillan, were very polite about the insanely eccentric bathroom …


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