There are few things I dislike more than changing ripe nappies, you know the sort, a stealth poo that’s had a while to go off- the nappy has absorbed a lot of the moisture and what’s left is some sort of lethal tacky clay like substance that stinks and is hard to remove.
So when the in-laws came to call yesterday morning and pointed out that the drain out the front was overflowing and had a little brown lake with teeny tiny turd boats floating among the mashed up bog roll, I wasn’t particularly ecstatic*.
|the front wall, in happier times|
Wifey grabbed a spade and dug the worst into a bin bag and then I had the joyous task of trying to syphon the “water” off so we could see what was causing the blockage. It was grim and bluebottles love grim, so they all came out to offer encouragement. I had a pair of gloves on and immediately developed one of those intolerable itches on the side of my nose that you only get when you can’t possibly scratch the side of your nose.
Eventually, after the kids all appeared at the front door to complain/check/make a bid for freedom, wifey managed to borrow some rods from the chap up the road. I screwed together a 3 metre length, put the claw thing on the end and lifted the manhole cover on the lawn to attempt to unblock the blockage from the mains side.
Now we’re 3rd from the end on our row of houses and one of the remaining two houses was empty at the time. This means I can be pretty sure the poo that floated past came from the chap who lent us the rods. I’d like to think he clenched as long as he could before letting it out for all to see but he probably didn’t. I did feel like complementing him on it’s solidity when I returned the rods but didn’t either. I’m good like that.
We’d anticipated the blockage to be the fault of too many baby wipes flushed down the loo but it turns out the culprit was something that looked like a large sheet of waxy paper covered in bitumen. Maybe it was roofing felt? We can only assume this was something to do with the refitting of the bathroom a year or so ago, or maybe something to do with the garage conversion or something like that. Either way once the grabby bit of the rods got to grips with it, there was a veritable torrent of manky evils rushing out on it’s way to freedom.
My dad once said to me you can’t really consider yourself a home owner until you’ve unblocked your own drains. We bought our first house together on 1 July 2002, so it’s taken almost 11 years for me to become a proper home owner. It’s an honour I could have happily waited another 11 years or more to have bestowed upon me!
*at this point I should say we do pay for insurance to deal with this sort of stuff but we had tickets for the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition at the British Museum in the afternoon, and since we’d had to book 8 weeks in advance, the idea of waiting in for a drain company wasn’t particularly appealing.