Part of the joy of living in the countryside, is the thrill of having a septic tank. It delights me that our family outpourings are located in a field and that every two years a man in overalls, and presumably no sense of smell, comes with a lorry and a strange looking vacuum to suck it up and take it all away. Today is that day.
I have a sickly 14yo home at the moment. She is full of flu. I was loath to leave her in the house while I fed the livestock, in case the 'sludge-gobbler' came and she was forced off her death bed to answer the door, so I phoned the company first thing; I was told he was on his way and to expect him by 10am. He arrived at 12.30pm. Hungry livestock.
A small, unsmiley man, (but then, who can blame him,) he moaned as soon as I opened the door. It was a long way to our house, (correct, though to be fair it depends where you start,) he had a bigger rig than he was used to, he wasn't sure the access to our drive was big enough, the field was grassier than he'd expected and he didn't have a shovel..... Lordy. I suggested he start by driving onto site, I'd get him a shovel and I'd make him a cup of coffee. 'Weak,' he said, 'Very weak.' I retreated indoors to let him sort himself out. Not sure I trust those that drink weak coffee.
I made the insipid, watery beverage and even wrapped a home-made, mini victoria sponge in some tin foil: Us Poo professionals ought to stick together, (though not literally.)
On our driveway I was greeted by the unsmiley one, even more unsmiley than he'd been before. He'd managed to badly misjudge our overhead electricity cable to the barn. The very barn I need to lamb in shortly. The wire was draped over his lorry like a poor attempt at bunting. 'Is it live?' he asked. 'Yesss!' said I, with more force than I'd planned. 'Oh,' he said, 'I thought I could make it.'
Anyhoo, three hours later and our stinky tank is empty, the smell is slowly drifting away. Electricians from the company have been to see the damage and will return tomorrow to fix us. I am less fraught and I even had some kind words for the unsmiley one: I valiantly held back from telling him that I think he's in the wrong job.
The 14yo is feeling marginally better and I've baked some lovely granary bread. I'm expecting indigestion any minute now, not from the antics of the day, but rather from the slab of hot bread and equal slab of salted butter I've just sampled!