ZELLA COMPTON: Men '“ just aim it in the right direction and we'll all be happy!

There's been a rise in the number of public gender-neutral toilets.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 9:00 pm
Ewan McGregor  as Renton in Trainspotting - the gender neutral toilets Zella has visited are almost as grubby
Ewan McGregor as Renton in Trainspotting - the gender neutral toilets Zella has visited are almost as grubby

This, by the way, is not established fact. This is my summation, my findings, based very loosely around my excursions in our beautiful area.

I spend a couple of days in Winchester each month, some time in Portsmouth, some in Southampton (and a lot in London). Plus Gosport – but that’s excluded from my survey as it’s my home town and I go the bathroom before I go out.

When I say gender neutral, I mean toilets which have a sign for both men and women. Bathrooms we share. Bathrooms for the both of us, but not at the same time, obviously.

In my experience these tend to be self-contained rooms, with a built-in sink and dryer. And a toilet with a bowl, and a seat. The bowl and seat are important here.

But before we discuss those, I want to mention a Stone Roses concert I went to a couple of years ago at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

At one point, during a warm-up act, I popped to the loo and was rather surprised by the appearance of three men. Fed-up with the queues in their own conveniences (ha, don’t us ladies know exactly what that feels like), they’d decided to brave the potential wrath and headed onto foreign soil.

Except, they were completely bewildered by the lack of soil. Seriously, the whole stadium could hear them f-ing and blinding about the fact that the ladies loos were so clean.

They weren’t as it happens. But I suppose it’s a comparison thing. No one who’s seen Trainspotting can have any doubt about what I mean.

Which brings me neatly back to the bowl, and the seat, and the gender neutral bathrooms. Can you guess where I am going with this?

It’s not hard is it? Typically, gender neutral toilets are filthy. Sorry lads, but I think that the decrease in standards has come from sharing with you.

There’s wee everywhere. Sprayed. On the seat, around the toilet, across the floor. I’ve watched enough criminal prime time shows to recognise a splatter of juices, to work out from which direction it has come – namely not the sink. And definitely not a woman. We aim down, that’s the shape of us.

Men, I love and adore you, but please, come on. If you’re using a bathroom which is shared by women, think about your wife, your mother, your daughter, your sister.

Think about them going in after you, and keep pointed in one direction, after you’ve raised the seat.


Wow, all those people running marathons last weekend amaze me.

What dedication that must take, the training and then actually turning up and doing the route in blistering (for the time of year) heat, with thousands of other people plodding along.

That would be one of the hardest parts for me, negotiating everyone else around me and their differing speeds.

Oh, who am I kidding? The hardest part would be getting my butt off the sofa in the first place and taking those first important steps.

And then the second ones and third. Those who keep going are inspirational to the rest of us, especially my sister-in-law who has bagged two marathons in more than respectable times. Incredible.


What a humbling experience to hear a room full of people singing your words, accompanied by a big band (jazz) playing your music.

This incredible experience happened to me last weekend, as more than 1,000 young adults from across Hampshire came together to perform My World, a piece I conceived of and wrote for Hampshire Music Service, with music by Tom Guyer.

I’m writing this in between the rehearsal and the main performance at the Royal Albert Hall – which I am sure will be truly wonderful as the talent in this county is outstanding.

I cannot believe how wonderful Hampshire’s youth is – thank you for bringing my vision to life, and for Hampshire Music Service for believing so much in the power of music and creativity.