Beauty treatment down the drain

Following a Code Brown alert, Paul Burt spends a day on the tools before admitting defeat and calling a plumber.

In Home Block5 Minutes

Following a Code Brown alert, Paul Burt spends a day on the tools before admitting defeat and calling a plumber.

IT’S WELL RECOGNISED THAT FARMING is a multi-discipline occupation and as unglamorous as it is, a farmer will be well-served by a knowledge of plumbing. Besides, it’s a real thrill to have the chance to go up a few pay grades when you are forced into action.

You can go for years without needing your big gloves, suction devices and long unblocking tubes but circumstances change, habits change. We have long enjoyed baths in our house, soaking and hot, they are the right and necessary end to a day of physical labour.

Being naturally frugal, one tub of hot water must serve two but in the interests of hygiene and harmony I always go second. In a distant past I can remember employing another technique using even less hot water. That only happened once because I ruined the atmosphere with an innocent comment about how high the water rose when Louise got in.

My most recent call to action followed quite a scary experience. We are so used to the efficiency of modern sanitary systems we just take for granted that, on flushing, our ablutions will do as expected and disappear with no fuss. However, an indifferent glance turns into a painful 180 degree head-spin when the processed remains of what you ate yesterday rises up to the rim of the bowl and threatens to escape.

The capacity of the cistern must be less than the volume of the bowl because the worst didn’t happen but I was puzzled as the septic tank had only recently been emptied. Assuming no fault on his part it’s natural for a man to start quizzing the other members of the household as to what they might have done to cause this serious situation.

Of course no-one wants to admit contributing to a code brown incident which forced me to wrack my brains for other clues. I then remembered the oil slick apparent after my last few baths. More interrogation resulted in Louise admitting to reading that coconut oil was very good for aging skin. She said we should have started using it 20 years ago and it transpires she was compensating by using industrial quantity dose rates.

Great for vanity but not so good for 70-year-old drain pipes especially in winter. The oil you don’t take with you on your rejuvenated glistening exterior goes down the plug hole and slowly solidifies in the drain.

Next day, having solved the mystery and buoyed by the thought of the money I would save, I launched into the job. After a couple of hours of unpleasant futility (those plumbers earn their dosh) I had a better idea. I put in a zoom call to Jacinda, nauseatingly full of smiles, platitudes and adulation before I cut to the chase. I told her I wanted to sign up to the Three Waters Scheme immediately. Well, not the whole scheme exactly, just the waste management part.

We had a long conversation nauseatingly full of smiles, adulation and platitudes (from both sides I will admit) and then she was gone. The upshot seems to be that the Labour Government is fully aware that s..t happens but other than talking the problems into submission lack the vision and skills for equitable long-term solutions.

Dejectedly I did what Louise had suggested in the beginning and called a professional. The bill arrived and Louise got cranky when I harped on about the costly side effects of her baby’s bottom complexion.

As a member of the fairer sex, Louise is very concerned that the coconut oil therapy has been banned. I made things worse by flippantly remarking that Cleopatra bathed in milk. On the noticeboard the next day was a reminder to ring the stock agent about a house cow.