I’m a big fan of homesteading, I’m a great fan of self-reliance, and when something breaks or needs fixing I’m a major fan of having a go and sorting it myself.
We bought our property about 15 years ago from an elderly lady whose husband had died just a few months before.
Although they had managed to keep the place looking superficially tidy, with neat flower beds and well cut lawns, they hadn’t kept on top of the more demanding property maintenance tasks. The gutters needed clearing, the electrics were a bit suspect, the water tank was leaking and no one could remember when the septic tank was last emptied.
In our first few weeks in the property there were a lot of things to get sorted. All of them vying to make their way to the top of the urgent pile.
To make the situation even more difficult I was still having to spend several days a week travelling back and forth to my old office in the Midlands.
It was on the way back from one of those trips I got a call from my wife :
“You better get home quick as there is a bit of a problem in the bathroom. Dirty water is coming up the drainhole into the shower. It looks like sewage. Shall I call a plumber?”
“No. I’ll be back very soon. I’ll sort it.”
It was raining cats and dogs again - for the fifth day running. It made the drive more difficult but I was on the last stretch. I was back within the hour.
A three and half hour drive in the rain is tiring but as soon as I got through the front door my wife ushered me through to the downstairs bathroom.
It wasn’t looking good. By now both the toilet and the shower were backing up with a rather unpleasant flow of raw sewage.
There was clearly a blockage somewhere between the bathroom and the septic tank in the garden.
It was getting dark but this couldn’t wait til the morning.
I remembered our neighbour Tom had mentioned he had some drain rods. He was the son of the old lady that we bought the house from and was always happy to help out.
Neighbours here are half a mile away so I gave him a call. Ten minutes later he was there with his rods.
He knew the property better than me. He’d lived here for over twenty years.
It was now totally dark and still tipping it down.
“Take my headlamp Tom, I’ve got a torch. I’ll get a bar from the barn to lift the drain covers.”
I made my way to the barn with the torch battery on its last legs. I could just see enough though, the battery could wait.
Tom shouted something but with the pouring rain and the clatter of the barn doors I couldn't make out what he said.
I grabbed the crowbar and headed round the back of the coach house where the first access drain was.
My torch had now died but I could make out the corner of the building against the sky.
I shouted ahead “I’ve got the bar Tom”.
“No need, I’ve managed to get the covers….”
Splosh! I stepped straight into the open drain. Up to my chest in raw sewage.
Off was the last word.
Tom rushed over from the other drain. The powerful beam from the headlamp lit me up in all my disgusting glory.
“Boy-ooo, I got the covers off”
Then Tom just roared with laughter. I joined in a couple of days later when I did see the funny side.
This fan had hit the sh*t.
This is an entry for @kiaraantonoviche's HomesteadingChallenge #2 :
[image from pixabay - Creative Commons CC0]
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