Monday, 10 August 2015

Well, that was fun!

Or maybe not.

The Pensioner/Old Bat household routine on a Sunday evening differs - slightly - from that on other days.  That is because we are staunch traditionalists, and it is traditional (in all the best English households) for Sunday dinner to be a roast.  It matters not what the meat is; lamb or pork or beef or chicken, whatever, but it must be roasted.  Yesterday was no exception and the Old Bat roasted a gammon joint.  Naturally, to accompany a roast joint there are roast potatoes.  Two other vegetables will be served as well; yesterday they were carrots and broccoli.  If the joint is beef, there will be Yorkshire puddings.  With lamb, mint sauce.  With pork, apple sauce and stuffing balls.  With gammon, white sauce.  And of course, gravy with every meat except gammon.

The routine might vary slightly from one Sunday to the next, but the basics are that the OB drains the vegetable saucepans and leaves me to serve the veg, immediately washing the saucepans as they are emptied.  The gravy (or white sauce) is poured into the gravy boat and the saucepan washed.  The pans are left to drain while I remove the meat from the oven and transfer it to the carving dish, along with the roast potatoes (and Yorkshire puddings or stuffing balls as appropriate).  The roasting tins are then left in the washing up bowl full of hot water.

After we have eaten, I wipe the saucepans as necessary, remove the roating tins from the bowl and pour away that water, preparatory to filling the bowl with fresh water to wash the wine glasses, anything else that doesn't go into the dishwasher, and the roasting tine.  But last night, when I emptied the bowl, the water stayed in the sink.  It did eventually drain away, but it took the better part of five minutes.  Water has been taking longer to drain these past few weeks, and I knew that the time was fast approaching when I would have to remove and clean the U-bend under the sink, but I had expected a little more notice!

So I spent several minutes removing the U-bend, one of the nuts seeming to have become welded.  There was a little gunk in the bend, but not enough to cause a blockage.  It took me almost as long to unscrew the cap at the rodding point outside the kitchen where I found more gunk.  Again, not enough to cause a blockage.  The pipe goes through two right-angle bends and two shallower bends after leaving the sink unit and before exiting the kitchen and I reasoned that the blockage was probably in one of those right-angle bends.

I do have one of those gizmos that you push through a pipe and then screw round to clear blockages, but mine is in France, the only place that I have ever used it.  And I have no plunger - not that I thought one would be any use.

So I took the washing up upstairs to the bathroom and did it there.  I did contemplate going out this morning to buy another of those gizmos (are they called mice?) but instead, decided to call in a professional.

He arrived within a couple of hours and spent all of five minutes clearing the sink.  As he said, it helps to have the right equipment.  In his case, a mouse, a wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner with a good hard suck (and blow) - and the largest plunger I have ever seen.

Naturally, it cost me.  But at least I won't get to spend another evening on DIY plumbing - and I won't have to do the washing up in the bathroom either!


Sarah said...

I just buy a bottle of that stuff your pour down the sink and leave over night from the pound shop BP - seems to do the trick most of the time (although there WAS that time I thought the end of the house was going to blow off and the shower filled up with rice crispies ...)

joeh said...

Well that put a dent in a lovely meal.

Calling a plumber was a good choice, but i would still buy one of those things...we call them snakes in the states.