The Northeast Regional: Bane and delight of my existence, for while the night train at least allows you to sleep through the agony of an eight hour trip, and although the quiet car allows some solid time to for reading and writing, one’s seat mate can be unpredictable.
I am not a good seatmate. My legs are long, and I have a marked tendency to cry through several station stops (or states) when leaving someone I love. But the foolproof way to maintain seat independence is writing: reading over someone’s shoulder is rude enough that I feel little guilt in writing all the things I write about. On train 86, it was chamber pots.
Part of my southward trip was to the Market Fair at Fort Fred, where I was pleased to visit old and make new acquaintances in addition to shopping. Handkerchiefs: can you ever have enough? I think not, and was delighted to find one pretty much guaranteed to clash with any blue gown.
Thread is always useful, and I find it easier to purchase in the flesh, when I can get a better sense of gauge and color. I’d had a request for a period-appropriate notebook and a replacement pocket knife, and was delighted indeed to find one (I bought two) that will hurt less to lose.
But, reader, best of all was the pottery. I possess enough self restraint to know I cannot venture near the mocha ware, for I might take leave of all common sense and purchase more than I can carry on the train, fit in my already full cupboard, or reasonably afford. Still, there was a custom punch bowl to see, kindly ordered for me some months ago, and, by the same potter’s hand? A chamber pot.
Not for me the lighthouse coffee pot (though of course I covet one). No, sir: the blue floral decorated chamber pot caught my eye, and have it I must. So I do.
I realize I have a bit of an obsession, and that one might consider this an unholy interest, but the utility of the device is not lost upon me, having had occasion to use one. Whilst staying in a 1787 house that remains unplumbed, I woke one Sunday at 2:00AM to pouring rain outside, and the urgent call of nature inside. Privies don’t faze me, but I lacked adequate rain protection and a fireproof light source. Happily, I had discovered a chamber pot in the house when I poked around it, and was able to find it by candlelight.
Two hip replacements make some activities more challenging than others, hence my tip: put it on a chair. Your floor will thank you.