I’m not sure why the working masses had an extra day off. I certainly didn’t need it as I have every day off. This extra day caused me some confusion, not being much of a royalist I wasn’t sure which day to celebrate, I certainly wasn’t going to go Queen mad for 4 days. I settled for the flotilla and a bit of the concert. Shame that Elton can’t get the high notes now and Paul was a little bit iffy. Tom Jones was the best I thought, certainly the early ones were pretty rubbish as expected. Where were The Stones, The Who etc. they would have been much better.
I was even persuaded to put flags and bunting on the boat. Gill doesn’t quite share my views on royalty so she was very happy. But how I ask will you remember the event? Our last day was so memorable that it will stay in our minds for much longer than the Jubilee. For the last 18 months our toilet has needed to special touch to operate it. You needed to surprise it to get a successful flush, we learnt the technique and the last 12 months it has worked fairly consistently if reluctantly.
Tuesday the loo fought back, I had done the pre-use preparations and thought all would be well. I am not sure what I had eaten that caused the problem but after a magnificent effort on my part, the loo decided to rebel. This was not good news, we had a toilet full of stuff you don’t really want to see making it unusable and no public loo for the next 17 locks, nowhere to turn for 15 locks so we could get back to Market Drayton. This meant Don the Plumber had to be resurrected.
For those of you who may wonder how an on board toilet gets blocked, a quick explanation. We have a macerator toilet. This has a motor in the bottom of it which chops everything up and pumps it into a holding tank which we then pump out every few weeks. Rule one, If you haven’t eaten it it must not go down except for toilet tissue. Anything else will jam it up. Rule two, I really mean it.
In order to get at the pump you have to disconnect all pipes (2) and cables (1) and turn it upside-down. The first part is tricky but straight forward, There is leakage from all the pipes and this is not all water. This is merely a foretaste of what is to come. The loo has to be emptied of it’s current contents, Gill volunteered for this, The dogs bowl seemed to be an ideal bailing device and the a jam-jar followed by my pump for removing oil from the gearbox. On the face of it this had been successful however there are many nooks and crannies where more can hide. We turned it upside down along with further mopping up and I started to remove the pump and its hoses. This was the easiest part until I actually removed it. Every pipe was chocker block with shite, it was everywhere, fortunately fairly solid so at least we didn’t get an ever widening pool of pooh. I took the pump in a bucket to our table in the front and proceeded to take off all the hoses. Without going in to the detail, the fish in the canal have an addition to their normal diet and we have a bottle brush that will never be used again. Meantime Gill is busy cleaning the nooks and crannies.
The pump itself looked fairly blockage free which was handy, so armed with all the bits I started to reassemble the toilet, Apart from a troublesome water pipe it went back together well and more importantly was not leaking. All we had to do now was test it and it worked. The pressure is now off us and we can relax again with the knowledge that Don the Plumber can fix toilets, although only mine.
So that is how we celebrated the Queens Jubilee, literally up to my armpits in shite. A day to remember. The dog really enjoyed her dinner last night.