Relieved and Release

What lies beneath?

I’m afraid,’ says the man peering into The Cesspit of Doom at the bottom of our garden, ‘that you will have to have The Big Lorry out.’ He then goes on to give us the grave news that if this tactic isn't successful, deployment of The Jetter may also be required at considerable extra cost.

It’s only now, since moving away from a house with the luxury of mains drainage, that we are discovering what country living really means; constant vigilance against incoming mice exploring the cavity walls and defending the loo from outgoing foreign objects. Visitors blanch when they get The Loo Lecture, but I have stopped short (no pun intended) of putting up a sign that boat owners sometimes display (boat loos also being notoriously fussy): ‘If you can eat it, so can I. If you can’t eat it, I won’t try.’ (I’m not sure I want to think about that too deeply, but it sort of makes the point and it was National Poetry Day last week).

After a certain amount of cross-questioning when our loo starts misbehaving, we decide that the ridiculous amount of rain we’ve had this summer may have affected the soakaway. Then we lift a manhole cover…

‘Well, everything’s working,’ says the The Big Lorry Driver, cheerfully. ‘I can tell by the smell. It just needs emptying, that’s all.’ I retreat to make coffee, which he and Tom bravely elect to drink as they watch the cesspit empty. A couple of hours later, it’s all done. The friendly driver leaves wishing us all kinds of joy that I’ll spare you in case you’re eating and we’ve learned a very great deal about our drains. Nice.

On a happier note, it’s the official release day of my second novel, Move Over Darling. I've also blogged on the Choc Lit Author's Corner today, with some images and ideas which composted down and found their way into my story.



To celebrate the official publication of the book, my lovely publishers, Choc Lit, sent me this delightful gift. So I did - eventually - come up smelling of roses, after all. 



Comments

Cait O'Connor said…
Congratulations Chris!
Well deserved.

I am an old hand at septic tanks - strange sentence but you know what I mean.
Chris Stovell said…
You've really made me laugh, Cait... we've still got our 'L' plates!
Cara Cooper said…
Many congratulations Chris, on publication day, not on having your septic tank drained - but I guess both are cause for celebration! My sister has a septic tank and although it fills me with horror being a confirmed townie, living in beautiful countryside is definitely a consolation. The cover of your book is lovely - that eyecatching blue will look great on the shelf in the bookshops. Good luck with it.
Chris Stovell said…
Thank you Cara, on both counts! I didn't see you on 'Strictly' last night, but you're naughty to try to get me into 'Bake off'!
Fran said…
Just saw you mention this on twitter. Congratulations - that must feel good.
Frances said…
Oh Chris, you are a very funny lady. Do save up all the past week's experiences...surely they might be re-chanelled into another novel. Even just that recurring human feeling of oh no, followed by calling in experts, intermittent worry, and then...relief once the experts do their thing.

(Obviously the experts and the thing could be transformed. There is something very, very appealing about someone or ones who can take care of something.)

Meanwhile, I also want to tell you I love the photo of you, with the gift, in front of one of Tom's beautiful pictures. Fantastic!

Continued best wishes to you on Move Over Darling.

xo
Fennie said…
When I was little the septic tank was always overflowing and all along the overflow as it made its meandering way down to the meadow, grew the most wonderful line of tomato plants. Nobody dared to eat the tomatoes, though.
Jenny Beattie said…
Just in case any of us thought the life of a writer was glamourous, right?

I am reading (and very much enjoying) "Move Over Darling" as I type. My only complaint is that I keep singing the song of the same name, over and over and over....
Chris Stovell said…
Thanks, Fran - I spared everyone the muckiest details!

Frances, thank you! We do feel we've learned a lot from the experience.. not necessarily the sort of lessons we've been keen to learn, but useful. And, gosh, we were SO relieved that it could be sorted out with the minimum of fuss and expense!

Fennie, Ma tells a similar story about some sewage works close to where she once lived. I'm also quite traumatised today having watched Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home last night and seen what he used to cook his pancake. We seem to have just paid a man to take away our potential eco-fuel... although I can't say I'm sorry about it.
Chris Stovell said…
Too true, Jenny! I can't say there's anything glam about calling out a man to view the contents of your septic tank. He was remarkably jolly about it all though! Phew - so glad you're enjoying Move Over Darling so far - thank you!
mountainear said…
Well done on publication and another well done for standing proud in the face of a recalcitrant septic tank.

I'm looking forward to reading 'Move Over Darling'.
Flowerpot said…
Brilliant news Chris! (On both fronts, sorry!!!) Can't wait to read it....xx
Chris Stovell said…
Mountainear - thank you. And a new lesson on Living in the Country!

Sue - many thanks, I hope you're having a better time of it!

Popular Posts