Pub landlady cleans up soot damage left by Southern Comfort drinking coalman at Jamaica Inn

I bumped briefly into our butcher this morning for the first time in a couple of weeks,due to the inordinate amount of  time I'm spending at the new pub.

Hello stranger!Hows it going up on the hill?? says he. *knowing big wink*
Self:Not bad thanks
Butcher:Interesting eh?????(Folding arms slowly,relaxing one leg and waiting for the gory details)
Self:Yes its great thanks,loving it....(lying through teeth)

To be honest I'm afraid the New Pub might be a bit more of a challenge than I had first anticipated.I haven't yet furnished you with the full story..
It was reopened a couple of years ago following a lengthy campaign by villagers to prevent it being turned into a residential home,having been closed for more than a decade.In the two years since the reopening two or three landlords have passed through...

Over the last couple of weeks I've seen things that never in a month of Sundays did  I expect to see in a pub..

On the first night a fellow strolled up to the bar, black from head to toe apart from his ginger hair which was teazled into a Gummidge inspired style and the large gold signet ring on his wedding finger.
'He must be the coalman' I whispered..
'I didn't know coalmen still existed' said Ems
Self:Well of course they still exist,where do you think we get the bleeping coal from???
Thankfully,Tesco Direct have yet to infiltrate that particular market..
He smirked and offered his hand to me.I knew it was a test.I rose to the challenge then feigned an excuse to depart to the kitchen to wash ones hands after failing to inconspicuously dislodge the damage onto the seat of ones arse jeans.. .
Surprisingly he was a double Southern Comfort and lemonade aficionado. Well blow me down with a feather, I didn't see that one coming.By the end of the evening, being well oiled and a tad unsteady on his steel toed boots,he stotted in a side to side motion down my previously buffed back passage steadying himself all the while on my newly painted Burnt Verdigris walls..Sadly a black smudge frieze on a wall doesn't do it for me.Thank gawd for Cif.

Then,last Saturday afternoon a middle aged couple approached the bar.Swarthy looking types, faint hint of a moustache.
Conversely the husband was clean shaven.Ordering themselves a couple of ales,they took a cosy seat by the fireside where the wife produced her KNITTING from a very large Tapestry bag then,proceeded to knit for the next hour and a half.Not a word was spoken.Now I wondered what the crack was with this, so I googled knitting and apparently these two are bang on trend as knitting is once again a popular pastime amongst the rich and famous.Though to be honest I cant see Gwyneth Paltrow sizing up a half finished garment to Chris Martins back in a pub..Truly not a sight one sees very often..

I don't regard myself as a city slicker,the Inn is undoubtedly in a rural location,but it is almost within spitting distance of a small market town.The New Pub locals regard *small market town*as the bright lights.We had to put the prices up(one has to make a profit) there's been a bit of opposition, feedback has been on the lines of: 'but them's *small market town* prices...'
I've been feeling like the landlady at Jamaica Inn,every time the front door opens I'm beginning to hear a howling noise as the wind blows,yesterday I swear tumbleweed followed a customer through the door.
'Its blowing a hoolie oot thar' says he.That's the other thing,its windy.All the time...
Today someone asked to order a *nosebag* and no it wasn't for his horse..
And men wear *strides* not trousers round these parts..

Anyhoo, apologies in advance that toilets/drainage seem to be a recurring theme,but yesterday we had another little incident.It appeared the water wasn't draining away from the upstairs loo.Following prolonged efforts with plunger and rubber gloves,still no joy.
I decided to leave it and  returned to the kitchen to do some lone prep for lunchtime(following last weeks sacking).Ems Mum had kindly brought some duck eggs down from the farm so I thought I'd knock up some Duck egg and smoked bacon mayonnaise for the sarnie menu.They were so bloody fresh I was having difficulty peeling them and was muttering incoherently to myself when I felt a drip of water plop on my head.
To cut a long story short we had to call out an emergency plumber as the water was seeping through the joints in the soil pipe from the loo sited conveniently directly above the kitchen.
At £80 call out plus £40 for every 15minutes thereafter I was hoping the problem would be resolved quickly.
I left Ems to deal with the plumbers(dour chaps not much crack).Presently I heard excited shouts with my name interspersed in the din.
I ran from the kitchen with the half peeled egg still in my hand.
I gingerly peered down the manhole cover and witnessed a six inch wide solid mass slowly emerging from the waste pipe.
Ems was on the periphery of the activity whimpering,silent tears rolling down her cheeks.
Plumber:I've never seen anything like it,its this long(stretches arms wide at full length)at least ten feet,compacted right up the soil pipe,at least a couple of months worth there.'
He was quite animated unlike his demeanour on his earlier arrival.
Well at least someone had some job satisfaction..

From the comfort of his provincial though close to civilisation kitchen, with wall to wall hotcupboard,tattie rumbler and hot lamps,Chef was blissfully unaware of the dramas that were unfolding far off the beaten track.

When news filtered back to the ranch, the old text message to landline chestnut was called into play once again.

'Oh dear...there was a big fat sausage in the loo pipe'

I fear the lady from Masterchef is the only thing that's keeping us going at the moment...

Hard boiled egg anyone???


Oh joy. You are back and in great form.How I laughed reading that, brought a smile to my face.A touch of the wide Sargasso Sea.
I laughed so hard at this. Having lived and worked in lots of older properties I know how much trouble sewerage can be. I'll probably have nightmares about giant poos tonight.
Young at Heart said…
aaaagh....whatever next?? It does all sound a bit Slaughtered Lamb out there....beware the moon and stick to the path!!
Alison Cross said…
Bloody hell! That's horrid! How are you going to ensure that future blockages don't arise? Can you pop a macerator or something into the pipework to break 'things' down a bit?

Maybe you could start a Stitch 'n' Bitch evening for knitters - on a very quiet evening!

Am hoping to be down your way in a couple of months!

Hope the pipework problems are sorted out by then!!!

Ali x
Oh you've made me laugh out loud tonight, that's so revolting but you've made it sound so hilarious. I imagine laughter was not on your mind at the time...
It would add a certain piquance to the duck egg sarnie.
I've missed your posts.
Anonymous said…
Oh how I loved this! I am adding you to my blog roll. Or should that be bog roll?
Glad I've made everyone laugh Schadenfraude indeed.
Emily-thanks for the bog roll-I'm honoured:)
Very funny! But I feel for you.

It's taken me ages to comment because I nipped off to see what colour Burnt Verdigris was - I like it!

Knitting is very much in fashion, the editor of the magazine I sometimes work for (LOVE) has a knitting circle. They meet at Claridges. They were going to be called Wool and the Gang but settled on Knit-A-Porter.

Good luck with the locals, I'm sure they'll be loving their new pub soon xx
A little something for you at mine.
LadySG said…
Loving it. Especially the thought of Stitch and Bitch Nights!

Can I respectfully point out that it's the 'craic' you mean, well, I think it is but then again, considering the compacting, perhaps crack is nearer the mark...thank goodness it didn't get that bad.
As an officianado of private drainage, I feel your pain so might I suggest
if you don't already have one - much more effective than the regular plungers.

Am now awaiting the next instalment.
LSG-Actually on this occasion I did mean crack..
If leaky pipes and clogged drains and smelly kitchen sinks with rotting debris is not something you like to deal with yourself, them it is more than just important for you to have a reliable and trustworthy plumber at your beck and call. A plumber surry hills may be the only one who can do a good and methodical job of fixing your plumbing equipment when you find yourself in dire plumbing emergencies.

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