It’s going to rain tomorrow: storms, they’ve promised storms. A real proper-promise with little pictures of thunderbolts and lightening, very very frightening me, Galileo, galileo . .. Actually, can you have a picture of Thunder? Whatever – they’ve promised storms.
Which will be very welcome because here in London it’s been toasty warm of late. What’s that? Passed you by, did it? Easy to miss, I know; hardly been on the news at all. I’m writing this in the garden, in the dark, at ten o’clock at night; inside it’s still thirty degrees. But that’s ok because tomorrow, it rains.
On which basis, ActorLaddie and I have been addressing our butts in preparation for said promised rainstorm.
The large waterbutt in the back garden was there when we moved in. It’s a sizeable cove, made from an old oil-drum or similar and actually works quite well as a water collecting device. A while back, though, the lid imploded, and in this heat – it being a tad on the warm side – did I mention that? – the puddle of remaining water was starting to get quite midgey.
A search on Google for ‘lids for big butts’ was informative, for sure – particularly on the Kardashians- but not quite as much use as I’d hoped when it came to the safe storage of rainwater. Luckily, when putting out the recycling, ActorLaddie spotted a dustbin lid living in the wild and, channelling his inner John Noakes, he set to work with drill, saw and lashings of gaffer tape. It was the work of mere moments to whip up a lid – Do your worst, cataracts and hurricanoes, but as far as our rear butt is concerned, we’re covered.
Different out the front, though. A while back, we installed a waterbutt by the front corner of the house and it worked jolly well until, gradually, it didn’t. Of late, even monsoon-like quantities of rain have raised the water level but a smidgeon.
For some time, I’ve been meaning to unscrew the tubes and connections to hunt down the blockage; the promised rain has now shot this activity up the to-do list.
So this evening ActorLaddie went off the to give the world his Archbishop Warham in Wolf Hall and I took on the role of Mrs Plug the Plumber. I unscrewed the short flexible pipe which feeds into the butt and, using the 4 mm knitting needle from my useful bag. cleaned out a fair bit of sludge and moss. I took the divertor off the down drainpipe and, with my trusty crochet hook, scooped out all the gunk around the valve. Oh, a 3.00 mm hook, since you ask. I felt fairly confident I’d run the problem to ground.
Hang on though – a thought! There might be a residue of sludge in the top bit of the drainpipe, above where I had taken off the divertor. Suppose it washed down to mess up the nice clean pipe and the valve?
So I put a bucket under the drainpipe; then I lugged the hosepipe down the side of the house, aimed at the top of the drainpipe and turned on the water.
You know those Tom and Jerry cartoons where Tom is completely engulphed by – oh I don’t know – churned- up mud which has been sent flying as Jerry escapes on the back of a tractor. Or soot as Jerry leads the unwitting feline into the fireplace. Or even a disgusting stinking mossy vile-brown sludge as Tom is persuaded into holding a bucket underneath a sawn-off drainpipe which Jerry hoses water into the top. And as Tom takes off his sunglasses, all you can see are his small, almost Trumpian eyes?
Still. When it rains … if it rains … my butt will fill up and all will be well and all manner of things will be well. And if it doesn’t, then I’ve been advised by an an expert in all things butt-related to sue. Makes sense to me.