As our garden awakens, hellebores, snowdrops, ferns, and heucheras stretch their limbs and jostle for position.
Some hellebores, petals perhaps frost-bitten, raise their heads,
possibly having been alarmed by our jackdaws jousting over the rooftop chimneys,
What was once a maple on the grass had been cut back by our predecessors. Although we have some new shoots the stump now bears some fascinating fungus. We hope that is not a sign of the tree’s imminent demise.
During the recent heavy rain, a hopper at the front of the house overflowed. Today I decided to investigate the blockage. The device contained a couple of pieces of brick that seemed to serve no purpose except partially to block the down pipe. I removed these items and Jackie filled a bath upstairs and let it flow into the pipe. All seemed to be running smoothly. Unfortunately Jackie had lifted the manhole cover to the septic tank.
This system, for homes not on national mains drainage, operates via sections of piping across the garden. There are three such covers. When we had our houseful at Christmas, we had experienced some overload in the waste pipes, creating an unsavoury heap in this first access point. Buckets of water, we thought, had solved the problem.
The residue in that pit, now solidified, resembled sand formations in the Arizona Desert,
which is why, having broken it up with a metal post, kicked up a stink, and begun to apply further buckets of water filled by Jackie,
I decided it was more sensitive to refrain from photographing the site until it was cleared. It had been necessary to pour the water down at speed, which incurred a certain amount of splash-back, best nimbly avoided.
The bucket drill was applied to each of the other access points, in order to ensure that the coagulated substance had been coaxed along the pipes. If that hasn’t cured the problem we will call in the experts.
This evening we dined once more on Jackie’s superb, well-matured, liver and bacon dish, served with mashed potato and swede, carrots and green beans. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Louis Virion Costieres de Nimes 2014.
After dinner, I watched the highlights of England’s earlier rugby match against Italy.