Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Changing the world... one seat at a time

There's always a nagging question, in many human endeavours, of whether we really can change the world. My reason for building this house, and going through the constant struggle with architects and builders, to say nothing of the colossal investment of my time and (the bank's) money is not just to get a nice place to live in. I hope that it will help other people get what they want. I hope it will lead to other house builders getting the comfort that twenty-first century technology and materials can provide. The comfort allowed by the science of the nineteenth-century, when the seeds of global warming were being sown. Also, I hope it will lead to a world with an intact ecosystem for my grandchildren, and not just a dull anthroscape.

Anyway, the good news is that we HAVE changed the world. 

It is now possible to get toilet seats delivered from the UK to Japan. Replacement toilet seats dot com ship to Japan!

The closest delivery address used to be Jersey, and that's really only close in the alphabet, not on the planet.

With the delivery, it's still not costing much more than the 9,700 yen they were charging us.

"Oh, you can't use foreign seats," they said. "They're different sizes and don't fit!"

But which foreign? Surely not ALL toilet seats in the other 191 countries in the world?

"Well," I resisted the temptation of saying, "Japanese toilets have been fitting my foreign arse for several years now."
The Japanese standard seems to be width: 360, length: 470, gap between bolts: 140 mm.
UK toilet seats seem to be 370 wide and between 400 and 460 long, so there is some variation. Gaps between bolts also vary. Most toilet seats can be adjusted for the gap. Many can also be adjusted for length. So, the UK seat will come out a centimetre wider, and a centimetre shorter. Hopefully it'll fit, though. I know there is some precision work going on in most places around the house, but in the tolerances of toilet seats, a centimetre doesn't sound like much.