It all started with the simplest of goals. I have a jetstream thingy here for blasting winter crap off paving stones, but I have found that it also serves very well as a kind of mini Dyno-Rod when the shower outlet gets a little blocked. I saw the entire operation as – max – a relatively light ten minutes of work.
So I got the Asian-manufactured jetter from the outhouse, hunted around for the plastic nozzle required to fit it to a hosepipe, secured the one carefully to the other, and then walked up to the main house to turn on the outside mains tap. Like the electronic bunny at the start of a greyhound race, the hosepipe shot backwards and sprayed freezing cold water selectively all over the gravel, but primarily at me.
‘Thank goodness,’ I thought, ‘I didn’t place the jetter inside the house….imagine what a mess that would’ve caused’. (What I tend to do is thread the water pipe to the jet-gun itself through an open window).
Having walked back to cut off the water supply, another search for tighter nozzles then ensued. The best of the bunch was duly fitted, and deemed to be as tight as the proverbial stickleback’s bum. I doubled back again to the water tap, and turned it to ‘ON’.
On the way back to the window, I noticed that the pipe extension joint was leaking. So I loosened the two plastic joining nuts, an act of brainlessly foolhardy inattention that cost me another drenching as 1.5 kpcm of water-pressure was let fly towards my groin.
One of the nuts had cracked in the cold of winter. Thus, a third Treasure Hunt began in search of a nut that had been protected from the frost. The quest at first involved four plastic boxes of screwing, nailing and tightening things, and then panned out inclusively to involve my odds and sods drawer, the you never quite know drawer, and last but not least, things already attached to other pipes performing the same function.
The leak suitably repressed – and yet another journey to the on-off tap having been undertaken – I was delighted to see that that pipe-jetter connection was intact. Hurrah, I thought.
The hurrah stuck in my throat as I entered the Maison D’Amis bathroom to see a manic rubber snake careering about, spitting gallons of water onto the walls, floor and Velux window. The actual jet gun itself lay inert in the shower cabinet; clearly, gun and snake had parted company within one second of mains pressure being applied. A wall of water was rushing out into the hall.
It was like a scene from The Dam Busters. My mind reconnected with the excited bomb aimer yelling at Richard Todd in the Prestwich Odeon sixty years ago.
“The Dam’s gone skip! It’s bloody well gone”.
“OK sparks,” said a laconic Guy Gibson, “Radio back ‘goner’. Nav, give me a course for the Sorpe and tally_ho chaps!”
Back in 2018, I was less than laconic; my mood was more one of ultrasonic panic. I ran like a demented Olympian back to the outside tap: it was a trail so familiar, I felt I should be using the tu-forme with every last blade of grass. I was, by the way, drenched from head to foot.
This was how I came to spend three hours this morning Spring-cleaning the bathroom, hallway and sitting room of the Granny flat here. At times, it looked like an old git trying to bale out a torpedoed rowing boat with a mop. But looking back on the experience now – with the benefit of eight hours rest and a few Krono beers – I prefer to think of it as virtuous hygiene creation on my part.
The more alert among you may be wondering why the jet gun had sed its umbilical cord. The reason involves the very high standards of Chinese manufacture whereby, after a couple of years, the plastic whatnot that connected the two had sheared under the unbearable pressure of being asked to perform the task it was designed to fulfil.
So the afternoon was passed trying to beef up said whatnot with heavy-duty wire, superglue and duck tape. This may seem like desperation on my part, but the nature of globalism these days dictates that retailers of Chinese junk do not carry spares: the idea is that we the Mugs should merely shrug and buy the new updated version of jetter.
Well f**k that for a game of soldiers. Be assured, dear reader, resourceful ingenuity will triumph over repurchase-rate mania every time.
In the meantime, the point of this post was to explain why I had no time to comment upon World Affairs today. World Affairs pale into insignificance in the context of personal Tsunamis.