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 Post subject: Question on logistics
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2019, 00:59 
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Playing up in prep
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Joined: 26 Aug 2018, 20:53
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I’m sure that this has been discussed somewhere, but I haven’t found it. I was wondering about how some of the details of the school were managed. For instance, in the Tyrol years, they mentioned that the railroad stopped running in winter... in Rivals it’s mentioned that the Saints arrived just in time as the train would stop in a week or so. Are we to assume that the girls walked up the mountain to school if term started before the train? And that they walked down if term ended after the train stopped? What happened with their trunks? How were they transported?
I know that the following is not a topic discussed by young ladies, but in all of the many misadventures described, where and how did they relieve themselves? I’m thinking of the Salzburg trip where they were trapped in a bus overnight in a rainstorm... I don’t imagine that the bus was equipped with the necessary facilities, and it was made clear that nobody left the bus (except Miss Wilson, briefly) and I can’t think that a group of teenage girls would be comfortable for that long.
Any ideas that can calm my wonderings would be appreciated :D


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 Post subject: Re: Question on logistics
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2019, 07:04 
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Dashing off for your part in the play
Dashing off for your part in the play

Joined: 30 Jan 2004, 00:07
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I'm guessing that if the closest trains had stopped for the winter, the girls would be brought up by horse drawn cart, with nightcases containing toiletries, pyjamas and a change of clothes, and the trunks coming in a separate load. In the Tyrol, the start of school is much less regimented than in later days - it's not like the organized train groups and buses up the mountain of the Swiss days.

As far as bio breaks go, that's something that I always wondered about as a kid, but that books never, ever mentioned. On rambles, convenient bushes are an obvious answer, but when they're trapped (here, or in the hut on the mountain earlier) it would get messier. If they really were trapped, it'd be a bucket in the corner, with a mistress holding a blanket for a privacy shield. Given that incentive, I imagine your average teenager would try to hold it for 12 hours.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on logistics
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2019, 07:27 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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The sanitary arrangements are rarely mentioned in children's books - I don't know how Enid Blyton characters who got trapped in caves on mountains or had to hide from gangs of criminals managed :lol: .

Would they even have had a bucket on a bus? I think I'd assume bushes!

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 Post subject: Re: Question on logistics
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2019, 09:05 
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Giving a Junior an order mark
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One of the few exceptions in children's books is M Pardoe's Four Plus Bunkle (published 1939): Bunkle says at one point in the adventure when they've stowed away in a car in France "I must go somewhere" and his elder brother and sister agree - fortunately the driver stops at an inn for a short break and they are able to get out and find somewhere among the outbuildings before he comes back, but one of them says "Why didn't we think of this, it's another of the things we didn't think of, how do they manage in books?"

It's still a very euphemistic exception, of course - as is the single (?) mention in CS-land when the juniors get stuck in their classroom (in Feud, I think) "Leonie was going to be excused". And that's the key to the conundrum, I suppose - they did have loos, they did need to use them, we just don't hear about it (not a subject for discussion, especially as EMBD was born in the reign of Queen Victoria and the Edwardians weren't much different that way).

As Alison commented, it simply was not mentioned in vintage children's books, and I can't really think of instances in adult fiction either. It's almost impossible to imagine now how unacceptable it was to talk of anything to do with bodily functions before the mid-1960s, when things did begin to change. These days Bunkle would almost certainly say "I need a wee" (or being Bunkle "J'ai besoin du pi-pi") and Leonie would be going to the loo.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on logistics
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2019, 13:05 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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I think things have gone too far the other way, now, though. I appreciate that it makes a good soap opera scene for two people to be talking in the pub toilets, unaware that the last person they'd want to overhear them is in one of the cubicles, but I don't think we need all the shots of people actually using the facilities!

It's the same in all books, except recent ones. We don't hear how Jane Eyre managed when she was stranded on the moors, or Elizabeth Bennet during her long walks in the countryside :lol: . On rambles, presumably they made quick stops at inns or public toilets.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on logistics
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2019, 13:27 
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Joined: 23 Sep 2004, 21:57
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I agree that in reality it would be a discreet visit behind a bush and in a herdsman's hut there might be a handy bucket but marooned on a bus? No Chalet Girl would be let out in the rain surely, though this could be the one occasion when they took their brollies with them.
In Future doesn't Len take the two Fs off somewhere to relieve themselves?


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 Post subject: Re: Question on logistics
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2019, 13:39 
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Although Leonie is the most obvious, there are at least two other EBD references. When Emerence is made to sit at the bottom of the stairs for hours she asks if she may go and wash - which has to be a euphemism for going to the loo. The other is one of the Maynard family minibus trips - Len takes Cecily and the two Fs off and returnd with them "refreshed and comfortable" or similar words. The one that always struck me was the long coach trip to Bournville - they don't stop for lunch just eat sandwiches on the coach and it must be about a 3 or 4 journey.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on logistics
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2019, 17:04 
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Joined: 20 Nov 2014, 13:07
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I was reading a book about 'Ducky' (one of Queen Victoria's granddaughters) when they attended a royal coronation. The family was making jokes about only having a half cup of tea with breakfast as the ceremony could last up to eight hours and they could not leave the cathedral in that time. Maybe their bladders were better trained than ours; I cannot imagine lasting. The Chalet girls may have been as adept. The modern fashion for drinking lots of water seems quite a recent one.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on logistics
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2019, 18:49 
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The subject of "comfort breaks" is being discussed quite a lot during this year's US Open - how lovely!! - because of concerns that players are using them to break up an opponent's momentum rather than because they actually need them. Until a few years ago, players were expected to get through a whole match, sometimes a 5-setter, and needing water to avoid the risk of dehydration, without one, and apparently they did have to learn "bladder control".

Was that a Russian coronation? They seem to have gone on for ever!

My mum had a summer job in a factory when she was in her late teens, in the early '60s, and was only allowed one "toilet break" between the start of the day's work and the dinner break. And I seem to remember some discussion in Parliament a few years back about people having their pay docked for toilet breaks!

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