On Obstructions and Openings

Just when I thought the plumbing could be put to the back of our minds, and we could instead concentrate on green and pleasant things, we have discovered that the septic tank isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do. The good news is that everything is still flowing out of the house at a pleasingly swift speed. The bad news is that, once outside, it is continuing to flow – out of the top of the still-uncovered septic tank, and into a big puddle around the place where the bathroom waste drains into it. This is just a bit of a bummer. This suggests that the tank is not draining according to design, out of its outflow pipe.

The upshot of this discovery is that more diggery-pokery is required, to discover the cause of the blockage. Unless of course we simply decide to bury our heads in the sand, and bury the tank back in the mud, and try not to think about it too much. As Simon has so eloquently pointed out, the lumpy bits are still staying inside, and the watery bits are going to flow out one way or another anyway. It’s just that they will be flowing out a little closer to the house that we might like.

A more urgent task for Simon’s manly attention is the fixing of the fence and gate at the bottom of the field currently occupied by Mad Lenny. When we were taking a leisurely stroll around the perimeter of the land yesterday evening, we stopped awhile to enjoy the singing of the birds and the rampant charging of the dogs and Lenny up and down opposite sides of the fence line, and I suddenly noticed (shock horror!) that the gate was open. On closer inspection (whilst the dogs continued to do an excellent job of distracting the frenzied Lenny), we found that the gate was open because the gate post had come out of the ground, and the straining wire was broken. And the gate post had come out of the ground because the whole length of fencing has been considerably leant-upon by greedy llamas reaching through between the top wires to eat the deliciousness of the tasty hedgerow on the other side. Or because Mad Lenny has been charging at it to intimidate innocent passers-by, and ensure they don’t so much as even look at his women.

Simon hastily wired the gate shut with the loose ends of the no-longer-straining wire, and spent the remainder of what should have been a restful, pre-dinner promenade through the leafy avenues of idleness contemplating how best to deal with the situation. One thing is certain. Before he can do any work on the fence, we have to find a way to constrain Mad Lenny within the confines of the small pen in front of the barn. And since neither of us fancy trying to walk the whole length of the field where Lenny’s ladies hang out, with him rampaging around to protect his harem, so that we will be in a position to close the gate on him when/if we manage to get him in the pen, we plan to devise a cunning system of ropes so that we can entice him into the pen and close the gate behind him by remote control. Yes, we are cowards. No, we are not ashamed.

If we do, by some amazing combination of luck and clever thinking, manage to get Mad Lenny to fall for this trick, we will then have to wait a bit to see what he does next. Will he merely pace up and down at the gate braying warning calls like a strangled horse on helium, or will he put his money where his big-toothed mouth is, and leap over the gate to assert his territorial rights?

I am not really looking forward to this experiment, but needs must, and all that jazz. If it works we (Simon) can get on with repairing the breached fence, and install a line of electric wire to dissuade the pushy camelids from their greedy leanings. Plus, when he feels so inclined, he will also be able to move on to the next stage of the grand fencing plan, and divide the big field yet again, so that we can keep Lenny separate from the females, and once again enjoy their gentle, warm-breathed company at close quarters.

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