This is one of those 'Too much information posts'. So if you're one of those who prefer to pretend that certain bodily functions do not actually occur, move on to someone else's blog now. Regular readers of this blog will know of my brush with a surgeon's knife five years ago, when he performed what's called a 'lower bowel re-section' to remove a colorectal tumour. A residual little problem is that occasionally, when I need a p**, I need one pretty much immediately. So I know a bit about that sinking feeling that comes with being further away from the nearest urinal than is required. Generally, its not a problem for someone who spent the first few years of working life on the family farm. But of course some are of more delicate temperament.
So I had much sympathy with the astronauts who live on the International Space Station, when their one and only urinal broke down this week, and they had nowhere to boldly go. As a short term measure they used the Soyus escape craft which is attached to the International Space Station, but the limited capacity of this tank was soon used up. The Telegraph reports that the astronauts have rigged up a 'urine by-pass' back up system. My imagination is running wild. Perhaps anyone who is still with me can make suggestions how such a thing could work. Anyway, there are some repair parts being flown in by the shuttle Discovery, and a new Russian built toilet system is to be provided costing £10 million. And you thought all this space travel stuff was glamorous!