“Oh for GOD’S SAKE!!!” came the yell from the bathroom.

“What is it?”

The LTLP stormed into the hotel room like a balrog with period pain.

“This skid mark!!! You could at least have cleaned round the bowl!!!”

I tried to pretend that it had been left by a previous guest. But she was not taken in. She is too good at putting faeces to names.

To be honest, I was damned if I was going to clean the toilet on my holiday. Especially one of those foreign toilets that is designed not to give your poo a clean path down the pipe. I read somewhere that this allows the pooer to check the colour and shape of their poo in order to check how healthy they are.

Frankly, I think an obsession with the colour and shape of your poo indicates a certain level of unhealthiness no matter what it looks like.

Mine is usually quite a light brown. I know that not because I have installed a special diagnostic toilet, like some foreign poo-obsessed wierdo, but because it is very simple just to glance at your toilet paper after having a wipe. That is far simpler than any bespoke porcelain arrangement, and shows again how the British are the best in the world at lateral thinking.

If I were concerned about some illness or the like, I could then match the toilet paper against a rough chart on the wall before hygienically disposing of it down the toilet in one flush. If I were really worried, I could take the soiled paper into the study and scan it in as a jpg on my flat bed scanner before emailing it to some specialist laboratory who would do very very accurate colour matching against a wide variety of diseases.

So there are plenty of options available without resorting to disagreeable toilets that don’t flush.

I scrubbed round the bowl anyway – it didn’t seem worth arguing. As I did so, I recalled that the hotel staff hadn’t folded the end of the toilet roll into a little triangle shape.

Italian hoteliers know service, but they do not know luxury.