Thursday, October 31, 2013

Leather Arse - or how I survived Izal toilet tissue.

Maybe it was only in the Ireland of the fifties, sixties. But OMG! Seriously, OMG! Those Izal toilet rolls were like sandpaper.

I'm sorry to offend anyone's delicate sensibilities. But come on here! How did any of us survive the agony of this sadistic faux-tissue - which had the consistency of heavy duty tracing paper - while scraping our tender backsides?

We are wrecked today, I'm telling you, spoiled, ninnified and sissified with our wimpy Cottonelles and Cashmeres.

You had to be a really tough dude(tte) to withstand the rigours of such a primitive wiping. I would roll and tweak and twist the sheets to soften them. In our house, newspaper was sometimes preferred to the Izal. Newspaper softened when manipulated, unlike the vicious Izal. The only downside was that newspaper clogged the toilet so you had to stuff it up your shirt to conceal it from the parents as you obeyed nature's call.

And oh, did I mention Izal stank? Yes it did. Of Dettol, I think, the disinfectant that stung our cuts and abrasions after we fell.

And it was SHINY. Imagine shiny, hard toilet tissue that stank like Jeye's Fluid and you'll get the picture.

Imagine what it did to our butts.

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Blogger Irene said...

For a while, in the last decades of the 20th century, we Dutch people were extremely environmentally conscious and we had responsible toilet paper that was easily biodegradable. It was also like sandpaper and didn't work worth a damn. It was nonabsorbent. I am glad we got over that.

Thu Oct 31, 03:33:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger VioletSky said...

I still have samples of some of these hard toilet papers from when I travelled in Europe. The non absorbency made it great for writing letters on to the folks back home in Canada!
Thanks for the memory ;)

Thu Oct 31, 05:44:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Unbelievable in today's softer world, isn't it?

Thu Oct 31, 06:19:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

I remember using it for tracing paper but never for anything 'public' as everyone knew the source, to the best of my recollection there was a blue Izol imprinted on each sheet. anyway the serrated edge would give it away, lol.


Thu Oct 31, 06:21:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Anonymous Grannymar said...

I am having convulsions here, missus!

That there Izal was great for tracing maps and writing letters! There is one letter floating round the family somewhere, written to us while we were on holiday in England, it took about six sheets of Izal. My uncle who was the author, drew pictures where possible instead of words. It is priceless.

Thanks for the memory.

Thu Oct 31, 07:09:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


Izal had much better uses when used for other purposes than for what it was intended.

My nasal memory still holds the smell.....LOL


Fri Nov 01, 12:29:00 AM GMT-2:30  
Anonymous cathy said...

Og dear thank you for the memories
I certainly remember that awful stuff my mother would buy - in those days in England it was called San Izal and as well as not actually doing what it was intended for it had an awful smell about it as well.
My dad would get a comb out, wrap a sheet of the 'paper' round it and and use it as a musical instrument.
Take care

Fri Nov 01, 08:14:00 AM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


Oh you made me laugh Cathy, I'd forgotten about the musical capability of the Izal, it had a lovely symphonic melody to it when blown through a comb, LOL!


Fri Nov 01, 10:24:00 AM GMT-2:30  
Anonymous Tessa said...

Ah yes, I remember it well ... and my arse remembers it even better. You could scrub pots with the stuff. Even after the distaff side of the family had succumbed to the pleasures of pastel coloured soft paper, my father continued to use it. I'm sure he was trying to make a point, but damned if I know what it was!

Fri Nov 01, 12:16:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


Ha - points alright but not where you'd expect them!!


Fri Nov 01, 01:41:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Anonymous LadyLuz said...

I had a right good laugh here, remembering a cold, damp lavatory in the yard and loads of crap paper for a crap purpose. Now weren't you all posh with proper loo rolls: we made do with newspaper for years.

I just love the badger's arse ad and have pinched it for my gallery. Thanks.

Fri Nov 01, 06:01:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


Oh newspapers were far easier on the butt than that Izal. I thought then that a roll would last forever as one sheet would suffice, it would tear the....of yer.

Yes, I accidently found that Badger ad and snorted. They were on to something...


Fri Nov 01, 09:08:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Anonymous Rummuser said...

Is that Badger ad for real? Do you mind if I stole it for a fb post? Or, better, you post it there and I shall share it with my compliments.

Sat Nov 02, 05:06:00 AM GMT-2:30  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...


Somehow I knew that ad would talk to you.

yes, I will post it now.


Sat Nov 02, 08:06:00 PM GMT-2:30  
Anonymous nick said...

Yes, I remember it well. Dreadful stuff. We often used newspaper too, mainly because we couldn't afford toilet paper, and the newspaper wasn't much better.

I also remember regular doses of cod liver oil. They were pretty awful as well.

I love the Badgers Arse ad. It's probably bog-standard in a lot of firms.

Sun Nov 03, 06:20:00 PM GMT-3:30  
OpenID blackwatertown said...

Ah yes - tracing paper. I don't remember the brand name - but I remember the medicated slips of paper. I remember them coming into small cardboard boxes rather than on rolls.

Tue Nov 05, 03:09:00 PM GMT-3:30  

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