Home maintenance intrigues me. We are forever in perpetual state of needing to fix stuff in our house. Slaveboy is not a great DIY man, and doesn’t insist on proving his manliness that way and for that, I really do thank him.
But not tonight.
The kitchen sink kept blocking up. Despite several attempts with a plunger (whilst the sproglettes stare at this archaic tool like it was some brain sucking device), the water just didn’t drain normally.
So, at around 10pm, I decided that I was going to unscrew the U-bend and unclog the pipes. You might want to note that Slaveboy is engineering at a gig tonight.
And because we had to rip out our old kitchen and install a new one and we were too skint to afford proper errr, iron (?) pipes, we have plastic ones. And the U-bend doesn’t really look like a proper U-bend, it’s this funny pot, So it doesn’t really unscrew once gunk gathers around the thread, which inevitably meant, I decided to disconnect the pipes at both ends.
Misogynists, this would be the perfect opportunity for you to comment that I should leave such tasks to the menfolk. Seriously, I’d actually let it slide this time, and would probably agree with you. After all, that’s why you have a husband – to change the light bulbs and sort out your plumbing.
After having cleared the pipes of rubber bands, shreds of cling film, hair, rice, broken up spaghetti, more hair (what’s up with that?), 3 cocktail sticks and a paintbrush (The Small Shouty One was painting yesterday), I felt pretty chuff that I was going to sort our poor drainage problem.
The lucidity afforded by a good night’s sleep reminded me that I forgot to mention the banana stem, the chicken bone, the lime leaves (these do not break down, people, so do not consume them whole) and a few Hama beads.
Then the mishaps took place.
In trying to screw the pipes back one, I sort of loosen the metal thingy that sits on the plug hole. It also took me ages to work out, that in situations like this one, lefty loosey, righty tighty doesn’t always apply. It also took me about half and hour to realise that the reason why one end of the pipe wasn’t fixing on was because the rubber seal had dropped off onto the then-sloppy-with-water-floor.
And this is when woe is me set in and I got all melodramatic and started lamenting how shitty it is to get anything done in this house, and it’s shitty that, and shitty this, and we can’t even be like normal shitty people and afford a shitty plumber cos we are so shitty broke. You’re getting the picture here, I’m sure. If you need a little more of a visual aid, I was on my knees, worshipping my Belfast sink with my head pressed up again it, and Firstborn munching on popcorn feverishly, possibly due to the stress and Izzy The Rockstar twitching gently in the corner.
Then I started demanding for tools. Oh yes.
Slaveboy doesn’t own any decent tools. In fact, we had been looking for a screw driver for weeks. This morning, Izzy The Rockstar found it. Jammed solidly into our vacuum cleaner’s attachment. I can’t really complain as I make my sproglettes do the housework. It’s the price that you pay when using child labour.
After a brisk rustle in Slaveboy’s box of tools, we found a couple of things that looked hopeful.
The wrench/spanner was so old, you actually needed to use a screw driver to change the gauge (good thing we found that screwdriver earlier in the morning, eh?). I’m not even sure if it wasn’t some misplaced instrument of torture.
We hit that stage, so typical of when things go all balls up, where there was nothing more to do but just laugh hysterically. Well, Firstborn and I did. Izzy The Rockstar couldn’t see the funny side of it at all and thought we’d lost our marbles.
And I’d like to say that I fixed it. But I did fix it to the best of my ability. Given the lack of tools, and indeed the lack of forward planning. It leaks a little bit. I’ve wrapped a tea towel around the pipe and I’ve put a bowl to catch any drips. I haven’t left Slaveboy a note about it but I reckon I could slip that one in verbally just before I escape to my softball training in the morning.