Monday, July 20, 2015

A flush beats a full house

It's a trap!
It was Eid Al-Fitr, and a long weekend. The Goat had agreed with Beloved Wife that, because of the ridiculous costs associated with going away anywhere nice, the Goat would come home to the Crumbling Villa. The plan involved a quiet long weekend away from work, but turned out to be a fairly busy and productive one.

The Goat actually couldn't get a sensible flight to Dubai and had to fly at 0100 on Friday. He eventually fell into bed at 0400, but not before being upgraded to First Class, which was very pleasant indeed, so full marks to Qatar Airways for that.

Beloved Wife had honestly not assigned the Goat a list of tasks, other than to help M to move house. Fundamentally this consisted of taking away some old shelf units that M had no space for. The Goat had use for them, though. Old IKEA stuff is better quality than the more modern; these shelves were made of actual blockboard and not chipboard or, O horror, MDF. Fun and games getting all this into Rio, but it did all fit despite the uprights each being 2.5m long, or is that high?

Beloved Wife had paid someone to tidy the shed. Dive Central was indeed tidy and fully devoid of sand, dust, and dead rodents, but was by no stretch of the imagination a workspace, workshop, shed, or Goat Cave. Hence the interest in the shelves. Several hours later, and the Goat had put everything away, eventually found some of his ingeniously-concealed tools (why were the spanners all in a tent bag with some tent pegs?), and the Goat Cave was clean, tidy, and a usable space. Huzzah!

There was obviously a need to go out to dinner, so Beloved Wife and the Goat treated themselves to a slap-up steak dinner or three over at Hunters Room in the Westin Hotel. The Beef Wellington was allegedly for two. As this turned out to be two anorexic sparrows, a very hungry Goat had both.

Further tasks included getting the Goat's car into the shop to fix where some incompetent parallel parker had evidently backed one of those unfeasibly long towbars into Rio's front bumper. The Goat was going to get this fixed back in April, but as he feared possible offroad damage at the Desert Challenge, he'd deferred the task.

Next problem: Beloved Wife's car wouldn't start until Dial-A-Battery showed up with some monstrous jump leads. Now with a new battery and thus a working VW, Beloved Wife could put Rio into Terios Hospital until Thursday.

Getting the battery took longer than expected, and so while the Goat tinkered in his Cave, Beloved Wife made lasagne. Plans for a Game of Thrones marathon went all horribly wrong when the sink refused to drain.

It seems clear that the problem has been building, with reports of a 'sluggish' dishwasher. The Goat attacked the sink with various caustic substances, boiling water, and a sink plunger, but the archaic plumbing in the Crumbling Villa really didn't want to play. The Goat did manage to cause a fetid dribble of brown liquid to creep from beneath the dishwasher. Investigation revealed that because the dishwasher waste pipe was lower than the sink, plunging the former was pushing wastewater out of the latter. So, dear reader, imagine the scene: Beloved Wife with one hand blocking one plughole and furiously plunging the other, while the Goat had one hand over the dishwasher waste pipe and a thumb in the sink overflow pipe like some little Dutch boy.

Still nothing would shift, except all over the floor. The Goat now found himself sliding on his hind legs, burning his true knees with caustic soda, and using a garden hose to try to push the blockage upstream. Beloved Wife was all for shutting the door on it and calling a plumber, but Goats are very determined. Eventually, at about 11pm, it came free. Massive clods of 20-year-old chip fat dropped into the floor gully and blocked that, but as this was a four-inch pipe the Goat could reach in and retrieve the great globs of grease.

Now the cleanup, with antiseptic chemicals and furious mopping of the entire kitchen. What a team the Goat and Beloved Wife make! Incidentally, the Goat wonders for what possible reason anyone would willingly choose carpet for kitchen flooring. Tiles are surely the only way to go, especially where antiquated plumbing is involved.

After cleaning the kitchen, the Goat and Beloved Wife cleaned themselves and, in the Goat's case, applied antiseptic on some minor cuts and grazes. One cannot be too careful.

And the weekend was still not over. The following day, the Goat fitted a cat flap and tried to teach the cats how to use it, with around 50% success.

By the end of this long weekend, the Goat Cave was tidy and usable, the dishwasher was no longer sluggish but working properly (the Goat suspects if it can't empty, the machine simply refuses to fill), One car is fixed, the other is being repaired, the cats have access and egress, and the Goat's motorbike received a small farkle. M has had her shelving recycled, and the Goat is heading back to Doha for three days.

Then it's time for a proper holiday!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to admit my shame and comment.

I have been reading your blog for several years now and never commented or 'liked' but have always mentally done the former and certainly the latter.

Great reading and have been there, won and lost the T shirt in the battle for survival. Well done Mr Goat.


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