Betty’s had her nappy changed in some diverse places – on the grassy verge of a seaside car park, in a café with toilet roll (I will never moan about wet wipes again), on the main street of fashionable Deauville, France – but today was a real humdinger. Betty took it very well, considering.
I’m very slowly gathering materials for a home-made chicken coop. So far I have a roll of chicken wire, and a bag of Betty’s hair to terrify the local foxes (see earlier post Hair Abuse). Today I felt ready to go to the next level so I took Betty off to a reclamation centre in search of some cheap bits of timber. The rain was falling hard as we arrived. For a time all was well, I started to look for some wood, and Betty was ecstatic about all the random items: phone boxes, stained glass windows, barrels, giant stone balls…in fact I think the excitement might just have triggered the long-overdue bowel movement that she loudly announced to me from halfway down the bath aisle.
Resisting the urge to ignore it, I scooped the little lady up and asked the warehouse owner if there was a toilet. He led me outside and pointed to a blank door. There was some confusion as I thanked him and headed off in the opposite direction (to get Betty a spare nappy etc. – but it was too wet to explain). When I got back, the blank door had been opened. It had been a peculiar exchange, but I had no time to work it out: Betty’s nappy needed urgent attention.
Inside was a concrete-floored bunker. There was no lightbulb. Two doors led off to the usual places: a third door was locked and could have been guarding absolutely anything. I tried shutting the outer door, as a token nod towards Betty’s dignity, but the ensuing darkness was total. I opened the door again and searched the bunker for inspiration. There was a small anvil on the floor. Even a small anvil is almost unmoveable without machinery. With Betty’s help, I dragged it across the floor and propped open the door, effecting a compromise between having enough light to see by, and not letting Betty get drenched by the now-horizontal icy rain.
Working quickly now, in case the other customer was suddenly caught short, I threw my coat onto the muddy floor and lay my alarmed but stoical daughter on top. I set to work with my back to the door in an attempt to keep the worst of the storm off Betty. The nappy change itself was mercifully straightforward, though there was no bin, and I was too embarrassed to talk to the man again, so I threw the old nappy into my rucksack and ran with Betty back to the shelter of the crazy warehouse.