Which is your favourite thinking room?


Do you have a quiet place at home where you like to think?

do not disturb door

Some people I know like to think in the toilet. (I’m not one of them. I prefer to not be in there long enough for that!) They see it as a quiet place where they can sit and think, undisturbed, for as long as they like. If they are “in the can”, “in the dunny”, “at the loo” or “out the back”, or whatever other euphemism you can come up with, their position is unassailable and their sanctuary respected. Mostly, anyway. Parents of young children may vehemently disagree with that!

A couple of weeks* ago Anne Goodwin reminded us of World Toilet Day and how lucky we are to have access to toilets and sanitation. Most of us take what used to be the smallest room in (or out) of the house for granted, not giving its use a second thought as we flush away our waste.

But not everyone is so lucky. It seems that more of the world’s population have access to a mobile phone, and or to the internet, than to a toilet. Visit Anne’s blog for many links that explain why a day for toilets is important.

WaterAidAustralia explains that

“The day was created to raise global awareness of the struggle faced by the 2.5 billion people living without access to sanitation. It is also used to explore some of the healthy, emotional and psychological consequences people endure as a result of not having a proper, clean toilet.”

An article written by Nicole Arce and published in the Tech Times cites the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the information that 2,200 children around the world die every day due to diarrhoea. Proper sanitation would prevent most of those deaths.

Arce writes that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set 2019 as its target for “total sanitation”. However, as also suggested in Anne Goodwin’s flash fiction piece “Culture Shock”, the problem can be attributed to cultural as well as monetary issues.

Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch followed Anne Goodwin down the toilet path and extended the discussion to include the effect that poor sanitation has on education, particularly of young girls. The link is not as tenuous as it may first appear as explained here and here.

Charli decided to use her flash fiction challenge to “spread awareness that toilets matter.” She invited readers to “Help spread the call for human dignity and basic sanitary health” by linking to UNICEF when responding to her prompt: In 99 words write a story that includes the toilet.

I have decided to do just that, as have many others. Check out Charli’s post at the Carrot Ranch to read all responses.

Toilet sanctuary

“Miss. Marnie’s locked herself in the toilet and won’t come out.”

“What now?” I thought, scanning the troubled face pleading for assistance as much as to be absolved of blame.

“Okay,” I reassured Jasmine. “Let’s go see what’s up.”

As we hurried to the toilet block Jasmine reiterated her innocence, she hadn’t done anything, she didn’t know what was wrong (it wasn’t her fault).

“I know,” I smiled. The toilet cubicles had frequently been Marnie’s sanctuary. But not for weeks.  Jasmine’s kind-hearted friendship had seen to that.

“She’s got her unicorn again,” Jasmine whispered.

“Oh,” I said.


*I apologise that this post may appear out of sync with World Toilet Day which was now ten days ago. Unfortunately I have been without internet access for 12 days and unable to publish although I had the post written. Fortunately I still had access to a flushing toilet, and if I had to choose between that and the internet, I’d go for the toilet every time! Though World Toilet Day has passed for this year, the message remains important every day!

Thank you

I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts about any aspect of this post or flash fiction.



23 thoughts on “Which is your favourite thinking room?

  1. writersideup

    lol…I’m not a toilet lingerer either, Norah! It’s the most uncomfortable spot in the house and I look to get out of there as quickly as I can, no matter what I’m doing. All the other rooms are the ones I have the potential to do something fun in anyway—like think. I actually think all the time. And honestly, the quietest place can be in the car if I don’t put on the radio (which I often don’t). I’d say any quiet place, regardless of where that is, in which I can’t do anything else to distract me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. writersideup

        Ooooo, I love the sound of an early morning swim 🙂 It must be about 20 years (more) since I last swam! What a perfect time to “think” as long as you don’t have to count strokes, or whatever. I would love to use my exercise time that way, but I have to count the seconds for the stretches! I hate it—SO monotonous.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Norah Post author

          I love my swim in the summer months. It is a perfect way to start the day. I do count the lengths I swim. My pool is twelve and a half metres in length so up and back twice is equivalent to one length of an Olympic-sized pool. I try to do at least 500 metres and then a few stretches and some in-pool running, so I do count but it doesn’t get in the way of my thinking. It’s very gentle exercise but I enjoy it, and it’s better than nothing, I hope! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarah Brentyn

    Glad you have access to the internet again. Also, raising awareness for clean water is something we should do whenever we are able so I think it’s kind of nice to have an extra flush flash after the “official” day has passed. Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Charli Mills

    The importance of awareness certainly extends beyond a single day. Thanks for adding to to it in such a thoughtful way! Many old outhouses used newspapers or the Sears & Roebuck catalog in place of toilet paper. It must have served a dual purpose for thinking and reading, before using a page. Again, your flash is becoming something greater and deeper in telling Marnie’s story. so glad to see you back online!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks Charlie. I think you are right about the dual purpose of the catalogues and newspapers. It’s great to be back. I hope it stays this way!


  4. Pingback: Tales of Toilets « Carrot Ranch Communications

  5. Annecdotist

    Hurrah that you are properly back online, Norah, must have been so frustrating to have this ready but unable to post. However your lovely postscript really made me smile and I think more than made up for the delay. Anyway, with such an important issue perhaps every day should be World Toilet Day.
    Thanks for linking to me and I’m pleased you were able to pick this up for your other blog readers. I did see your lovely flash in Charli’s compilation were pleased you could post it here as well for another read. Makes me think that early years teachers must have quite a lot to do with toilets. Good for Jasmine befriending Marnie – look forward to you revealing what’s up now (I wonder if you know are waiting to find out with the next prompt).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bec

    Great FF, Nor, I really like the recurring motif of the unicorn. And world toilet day is such an important issue, it’s great that you and Anne are raising awareness about it!

    Liked by 1 person


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