DO please spare my blushes and tell me I'm not alone here but... does the thought of lockdown easing fill you with joy only until you think about, well, easing yourself?

I cannot be the only person who clicked their heels together at Nicola Sturgeon's announcement that, in a few day's time, we'll be able to meet with another household while staying outdoors and be allowed to travel that bit further.

Excellent news, and just in time for my birthday. On one hand, it's sad that Glasgow's bye laws prevent drinking alcohol outdoors as it would be nice to raise a physically distanced glass with a friend. On the other hand, thank goodness because the big issue with our extended freedom is that bladder capacity restricts it back again.

During lockdown the idea has been floated that outdoor exercise time should be restricted to one hour, though this wasn't official advice. This seemed about an ideal time without taking a bathroom break.

Now we're allowed to drive to friends' and relatives' homes further away, what do we do if we have to go?

Before public bathrooms were commonplace and acceptable for ladies to use, women were constrained by what was termed the "urinary leash". They could only travel so far as they could hold their water.

Ms Sturgeon touched on this when questioned about the changes to the public guidance. "You have to ask people to exercise judgement," she said.

"If you have to travel a very long distance to see an elderly relative in the garden it's perhaps more more likely you have to go into the house to use the bathroom." And that's when there's a risk of leaving the virus behind.

It's one thing to exercise judgement but we're all of us able to be caught short at one time or another. What do we do?

A Facebook friend has been taking long and leisurely walks across the city during lockdown and I have marvelled at their ability to be outdoors for three, four or more hours without needing to pee. Or maybe they have done and this practical element of their perambulations has been hidden from the social media post.

Are people all secretly peeing in hedges? Could there be a relaxation on the public urination laws while we spend more time al fresco?

A colleague who took regular trips overseas to remote areas had a special skirt her mum had bought her, which was loose enough and long enough to allow her to relieve herself standing up. There may be an obvious explanation for what happens to one's legs and feet in this situation but it's not obvious enough to occur to me.

Still, there's a germ of an idea there. Could we start wearing large hooped skirts while out on longer constitutionals. It's certainly cheaper than having elderly parents install a privy in the back garden.

Last year on a trip to Sierra Leone I badly misjudged my fluid intake on a journey from the remote part of the country we'd been staying in back to the capital city. It later occurred to me that I'd underestimated the length of the drive because I'd been asleep for most of the way out.

On the way back I drank two and a bit litres of water with two hours of the journey left to go. By the time Freetown was in our sights I thought my entire abdomen was going to explode. I couldn't speak or move, I could only sit rigidly still and pray for quick release.

But then... traffic jam. The car stopped moving. I could last no longer and had to sprint through two lanes of traffic, bent double waddling towards a petrol station. The woman behind the counter would not let me use the bathroom. I begged. I pleaded. I pretended to be pregnant. She was unmoved. "Go outside!" she told me, with a wave of the hand.

Dear reader, that is what I had to do. At the side of a four lane highway with traffic at a standstill. It was a perfect low point in my dignity and a situation I would prefer never to repeat.

It's a serious consideration, though, particularly as more cafes and restaurants open up. When the high street starts to re-emerge also, our shopping can't be constrained by lack of bathroom facilities.

Extending social distancing to toilets is going to be a challenge, given how enclosed they are and the nature of what occurs in them. Changes to contactless facilities with automatic sensors might be vital, but can every small outlet afford them? Bathroom attendants regularly cleaning might be a sensible option but, again, expensive.

There needs to be ample space to queue as well.

As the world returns to normal, we must have parity of access - and that means toilet options for all. Bathrooms are part of our economic recovery. It's not an easy conversation, but it's an important one.

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