Having to speak to an unknown human for the first time has never been one of my favourite things. I have a real tendency to say the wrong thing, swear inappropriately or generally make a bit of a twat of myself. So, the idea of contacting someone to speak about a toilet, the most private and hidden of places, seems an unnecessary antagonism.
I am however well aware that to progress my little writing and rating enterprise I have to swallow the massive phobic lump in my throat, put on my business pants and try to be a professional researcher from time to time. Pushing the boundaries of what my anxiety says I can’t do is kind of my wheel house. I’m a stubborn shit and I hate the idea that my phobias or GAD may hinder my ability to experiencing all the shit that makes life truly worthwhile; love, travel, helping people, breeding mutant super pets who bring me cheese toasties on request, y’know life goals.
Luckily in the battle of social anxiety vs stone-cold Librarian research bitch the later won and pushed me to contact the Waikumete Cemetery to ask about their cool looking, chapel adjacent toilet.
It belongs to this non-denominational bad boy, Faith in the Oaks Chapel at the Glen Eden (old graveyard) end of Waikumete Cemetery.
The church was built in 1886 to service the newly delineated cemetery. At some point in the 1980’s some bright spark realised that people need to pee during/after/before weddings and funerals so they built this little toilet unit to service chapel functions. Rather than just bungin’ in an ugly metal exceloo or building a brick n corrugated iron convenience like the ones further into the bowels of the cemetery , the council, Waikumete elders or possibly some kind of blessed collection of wizard nuns chose to build a toilet in keeping with the style of the chapel. They did a shit hot job too.
Unfortunately though completely understandably, this isn’t so much a ‘public’ toilet. It is only opened on request for functions or if you are a big brave girl like me and email the customer service department and speak to the lovely lady with the keys.
The bathrooms are two units, one on either end, with their own doors and facilities. The finish achieved is great and the choice of heritage fittings is very nice indeed. I love a pull-chain, high up cistern and the refurbished lantern light fitting was pretty cool as well.
Even the sink and tap were from the correct era with happy heapings of porcelain and brass.
Cleanliness : 8/10 The bathroom was clean other than the vast array of cobwebs decorating the pitched roof gables. I’m guessing that due to it’s only occasional use the spiders have decided to take over and go crazy. Being that it is looked after by kindly Nanas most of the time I would like to believe that if you were to book your wedding or christening there that you’d arrive to a dusted and spider free facility. The lack of use however does add to the fact that it wasn’t a mess, run down or covered in indescribable grossness which I appreciated.
Interior : 9/10 One of my favourite interiors so far. The cistern, pull chain, sink and tap all chosen for their historical appropriateness not to mention the stained glass window and revamped kerosene lamp light fitting. Not many loos offer a lead light lily window to gaze adoringly at while you go wees.
Exterior : 7 /10 It’s private, offers decent parking and is set in gorgeous surroundings but obviously I can’t totally over look the fact that it isn’t open to the public daily. Though it hurts me to do so, I have to mark down for daily accessibility.
Safety : 9/10 There is no escaping the fact that cemeteries are a bit skeevy but the chapel is directly beside what was once the Sexton’s house so people live well within earshot of the toilet. At the times when this loo was open for use I would give it 100% safety but I guess to be fair I have to discount a little for being in a cemetery where homeless people tend to drink/do unspeakable things to each other of a cold evening.
Snugglitude : 9.5/10 Definitely a new favourite of mine. It is the cutest and most well appointed heritage refurb toilet I have seen yet. It also made me very happy which really is what it’s all about, because it’s my blog and I damn well say so.
Total : 42.5/50