Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Case of the Disappearing Bidet

When did you FIRST encounter a bidet? I was fourteen years old in a French house and staring at this appliance which I supposed was designed to provide a facility for washing feet. When I returned to England the bidet's proper use was explained to me in the following terms: 

"In a French bathroom there is no bath. You have a washbasin and a bidet. In the washbasin you wash down as far as possible and you wash up as far as possible and then you use the bidet to wash 'possible'."

When did you LAST encounter a bidet? That obscene sculpture of porcelain sanitaryware, sometimes bolted to the floor, more often not; always installed so that the bathroom door would not open fully but nevertheless positioned to stub your midnight toe? 

They have gone. Disappeared. Overnight they have been whisked off to that great bathroom in the sky. Where is the last hotel bidet in France?

All that is left of the bidet.


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