There are not many people who walk past the house, but there is an occasional passer-by. Whether or not there were any that afternoon I couldn't say, but any there were would have witnessed a strange, ritualistic dance taking place in our courtyard. Three men on their hands and knees were crawling round in a circle - backwards. Chris, Alan and I were working away at the rust.
When we thought we had cleared enough to lift the slab, we tried the screwdriver once again. The slab still didn't budge, but this time we bent the screwdriver through forty-five degrees. I now had a screwdriver which would go round corners, but the problem of accessing the septic tank remained.
We stood gazing at the slab, hoping against hope that inspiration might strike.
"I wonder," mused Chris. "Suppose we tied a rope to the ring in the slab and the other end to the towing bracket on the car . . ."
We raced back to the garden centre DIY section to see if they had any suitable rope. The assistant we had seen in the morning blanched when he saw the three mad Englishmen walk through the door, but - give him his due - he stood his ground courageously. As it happened, we didn't need his help and were soon roaring back with the answer to our problem in the boot of my car.