Tuscan loo with a view
WE STAYED in a renovated castle in Tuscany once.
The castle (hotel now) crowned a steep hill with views so quintessentially Tuscan we felt as though we were in the middle of Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun.
An 11th century fortress, the castle sat crumbling for centuries until someone rich restored it to its original grandeur with every modern comfort.
The only downside was the small size of the windows.
Although the windows look appropriate from the outside, the views were limited from our big bedroom and spacious living area with its frescoed walls.
The only room with a large window was the bathroom.
Sitting on loo or the bidet (if you'll pardon me) afforded a view through the window to the undulating green hills of Tuscany dotted with round bales of hay.
It couldn't have been more Under the Tuscan Sun.
"Let's take our chairs into the bathroom and enjoy our pre-dinner drinks in there," my industrious husband/friend/travel mate said one evening as we sat in the elegant lounge room bereft of views.
It didn't sound so silly after our first glass of Rosso di Montalcini, so the man carried the chairs into the bathroom while I followed holding the wine and plate of cheese.
Of course there wasn't enough room, even though we tried a variety of chair manoeuvres.
We gave up and took the chairs back to the lounge room, but I hadn't counted on my husband's determination to enjoy the Tuscan views.
He looked thoughtful, took my hand and led me back to the bathroom.
"You could sit on the bidet and I could sit on the toilet," he said, closing the toilet lid and taking his place, glass of red wine in hand.
For one tiny moment, I considered it. But straddling a bidet balancing a plate of cheese and glass of wine on my lap wasn't quite the romantic vision I had of myself during the Tuscan cocktail hour.
We went back to the lounge room.
Tuscan views are one thing, dignity is another.