Plumbing the DepthsSink blocked last night. Cowardly I know, but I was still rather glad that I'd already announced that I was going out and unavoidably had to leave The Lodger and The Helene peering into the murky waters armed only with an ineffectual plunger. The enlightened design of modern day sinks makes them impossible to unblock this way. Overflow you see. As you press down with all your strength on the plunger all of that force is immediately redirected, not down at the troublesome U-bend ( now there's a word I've overused recently) but down, up, round and oh bugger, straight out through the overflow. The plungee left damp and cursing. Spectators in helpless fits of laughter.
Got back to find the sink still blocked but the kitchen now smelling like the swimming pools of my youth. The Helene had resourcefully popped out and bought some foul smelling, heavily chlorinated gloop which claimed to unblock even the most troublesome sinks. "Will unblock any sink" it claimed. But if the bugger really cuts up rough, leave it over night. Hopeful and expectant glances all evening. The gloop doesn't budge. Next morning, fowl-smelling gloop still growling in the bottom of the sink. It's going nowhere.
Why was I in such a hurry? I can see now of course what the sensible thing to do would have been. A little thought. A little planning. Rubber gloves would have been useful. Ah but then, if I just put a bucket under the U-bend and then if I just unscrew this and let it drain. Yes, that's draining out nicely, I'll just leave it, go and have my breakfast now, yes, patience. Or maybe, maybe if I just undid it a little more, well then it would drain more quickly. Yes, that's fine, I can leave it now, but perhaps, perhaps if I just unscrew it a little. Oh shit! shit! shit! vicious corrosive gloop spraying out in every direction like an ornamental fountain going everywhere except the bucket. Yet another one of those moments when I would have loved to have seen the expression on my face - like when I came back from a Sunday lunch-time drink to find the waters of the washing machine lapping gently over the front doorstep. Quick get a mop! no quick rinse this flesh eating gloop off my hands. No! Not in the sink! There's no U-...
Most upsetting of all, it turned out that it was all my fault (just like it was with the washing machine). An inch thick plug of solid lamb fat, completely blocking the U-bend, which must have collected there the night before when I ran some water into the roasting tray, I was only trying to make the washing up easier for The Lodger. Still, despite the panic and my reddened and itchy hands (I comforted myself with the fact that Sodium Hydroxide isn't actually toxic, merely an irritant) I spent the rest of the day rather pleased that I'd handled such a practical domestic problem myself. Should have used rubber gloves though.