THERE are times in the day when you just want to escape. Get away from family, friends and colleagues. Be on your own. A trip to the Caribbean is out so what can you do?

Go to the loo. A study by Domestos says that 40% of folk just head to the toilet. Sitting on the loo is seen as an escape from partners, children and work.

Lock the door and relax and the time is your own.

Many read the paper, a book or magazine; some listen to the radio; some find passing moments of inspiration and write down great ideas.

Of course you have to ignore the banging on the door and: “Are you going to be long?” Or: “Are you all right in there?”

Others catch up on their social networking.

Now, a text from someone on the loo is acceptable, but surely not a phone call.

And yet, there are those, says the report, who use the time to use the video calling service Skype. That’s right, they sit there and chat with a friend, face-to-face, in the smallest room in the house with their iPad or laptop on their knee.

And yet, when you think about it, is this so gross?

Going to a communal loo was part of the life of Ancient Rome. Whole rows of Romans would sit there discussing business while going about their business. And the days of the three-seater outside loos are not that long ago when the family who shared together, bared together (their bottoms, that is).

Imagine having a three-seater long drop fitted today and explaining it to your teenage children.

“What? Together?”

How sensibilities have changed in the modern world. For the better, I add.