I WAS standing at the kitchen sink, staring vacantly out of the window, listening to the dirty dishwater gurgling down the drain. The house was empty and I was enjoying the silence. There is something delicious about having alone time, peaceful bliss, apart from the ticking clock, the glugging plughole and the snoring dog. I sighed a happy sigh. Then my eye was caught by a river of bubbles slowly meandering down the garden path. I frowned, that was not good. I opened the back door and peered at the overflowing drain, grey, smelly and very blocked. Normally I would pretend that I hadn’t noticed this blockage and wait for Himself to sort it out because this is obviously a man’s job but I remembered what had happened when my car needed some screen wash.
“I’ll do it for you Witchy” he nobly offered. What a sweetheart. He popped up the bonnet, unscrewed the cap nearest the windscreen then proceeded to pour said wash down the funnel. I looked at the cap he had given me to hold, ‘brake fluid’ it read. A slight panic ensued but luckily there appeared to be a valve in the reservoir and no harm was done, apart from a soapy engine and a very sheepish husband – I kept giggling at the memory of it which didn’t go down well. Anyway, this is 2023, there is no such thing as a man’s job. With great reluctance, I pulled on my wellies and Himself’s huge much- loved overcoat (it was raining) dragged out the jetwash and got to work.
This drain is accessed by a hole approximately a foot wide which is covered by a loose paving slab. It opens up under the backdoor step into a three foot oblong pit, with a round hole in the furthest corner connecting to a pipe which disappears under the garden to, who knows where. Shifting the paving slab and using a jam-jar I emptied the pit of dirty water into a bucket, it was painstaking. Then I reached the stinky sludge, there was loads of it, slimy grey silt and stones, I even plucked out a large cockle shell which was odd. It was nearly clear but to reach the last handfuls of nasty stuff I had to lie with my head on the step so I could stretch my arm deep into the pipe hole.
I must admit I did have a little cry and wondered about my life choices, but I got most of the sludge out and finally gave the drain a blast with the jetwash. To my utter relief, with a strangely satisfying glug and gurgle, the drain cleared and the water ran away as it should. I felt rather pleased with myself. Not really knowing what to do with the collected sludge I poured it onto the flowerbeds and went inside for a well-earned shower. All refreshed, I came back into the kitchen and looked out over the garden where I noticed Scrappy Little Dog munching on something. I went to investigate. Calling her name sharply, she looked up, face covered in drain slop, licking her lips. Marvellous.