Monday, 17 December 2012

All quiet on the renovating front and a privacy latch

It's been very quiet at the Sow's Ear. The incessant renovating has ceased for now as we consolidate our money for more renovating in 2013. With the school holidays in full throttle, poor ol' Jason fighting a man-flu and a very busy social calendar, renovating is taking a back seat.

There are always lots of small jobs we do but they seem so inconsequential and unworthy to dedicate an entire blog post to them.  But some of those insignificant jobs are quite life changing...

For example a week ago, Jason installed a privacy latch onto the bathroom door. Our only bathroom is a combined toilet and bath. As you can imagine in a bustling family household, it is an 'in-demand' room.

privacy latch

The door lacked a lock. Lockless. There used to be a barrel bolt on the inside but we removed it fearing the children would inadvertently lock themselves in.

So for the past three years we have been accidentally walking in on each other as we performed our ablutions. It has not been an easy three years.

I developed a clearing-the-throat nervous cough at the sound of approaching footsteps to signal that the bathroom was occupied.

Son #2 developed a hysterical "Close the door!" scream.

Son #1 developed a nervous post traumatic bathroom twitch as he is extremely modest and would be in tears if someone caught him mid-stream.

And heaven help anyone who dared walk in on Jason as he sat on the throne. He used to cut us down with a murderous stare and be cranky for the rest of the day.

The only one immune was Son #3 who, at age four, is entirely comfortable with an audience and gives us a running blow-by-blow commentary of his toileting experience.

The privacy latch has proven a complete success. It may look a bit public toilet, but sometimes function outweighs form. (You can get some awesome repro brass locks from the UK here if you want to have something fancy)

Again, it is the small things which make a big difference in a renovation. A peaceful wee is all anyone really wants, isn't it?


  1. I hate strange bathrooms with untrustworthy locks when the door is outside kicking-it-shut range!

  2. Yes, I know Tricia! The door is not in kicking range so anyone using the bathroom was very vunerable. Much better now. xx

  3. I'm still at the nervous cough stage too. Except that when the light is on at night, it hardly matters. Our still to be restored bathroom has a net-curtained glazed door!

  4. I love it! I thought my family was the only one with bathroom issues. Grandson #1 just became potty trained this month, and he absolutely refuses to have an audience. If anyone even tries to speak to him through the door, he shrieks, "Give me some privacy" at the top of his lungs. Paradoxically, once he's done, he invites everyone in for a look.

    We're about to start construction on my separate apartment behind the house, but at the moment there are three adults using that same bathroom. Your solution is wonderful.

  5. That latch is so cool. My 15 minute shower time in the morning is my only 'alone' time ... yet people still barge-in unannounced and unwanted and unwashed.

    This morning there was me and two children (at impossible angles) in my bed, and Martha ceremoniously drags her potty in the lounge room and plonks herself in front of the TV and ablutes away. No shame. I wish I could throw a privacy blanket over her. Does Bunnings sell privacy blankets?

  6. PS I've had two embarrassing walk-in moments ... 1) a priest walked in on me on the toilet and
    2) a Frenchman walked in on me ... admittedly it was his Parisian apartment and his Parisian toilette, but still.

  7. What a clever and practical idea! ... would have never thought of it for home use. :)

  8. I LOVE a privacy latch! Old school indeed. We stupidly built an ensuite without a door ... open plan darling ... anyway, regretting that now big time as every child needs to tell me something inane at that very moment I "need to go". Also now that we have a dog, he too has to come and visit me whilst trying to get a moment to myself. Sheesh!

  9. I would love to have one of those!

  10. Yes it is the little things that make a huge difference. Our toilet also lacked a lock for three years, it was a memorable moment when it was finally fixed :-)

  11. awesome, I love little quirks like that in a home. We had a phone booth entry to the office in one of our homes.

    Merry Christmas,


  12. A fantastic idea..I've often wondered why they're not used in private homes as well as practical!

  13. Yay to the new latch,at least you have got the blow-by-blow commentary at the dinner table EEK!!!!

  14. We have also lived in a bathroom/loo combo house for the last three years and are over it. Son's favourite pain to inflict on daughter is to wait until she is in the bath then go in and proceed to have a crap. She screams so loud you would the window is going to crack. Boys!!


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