Andy Mitchell from Radio Wave

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Now then... having a bash at DIY at home in an effort to look manly is one thing - I’ve been known to carry coal in from the shed since the latest fad of a log burner took a hold. Being called upon to stick one’s hand down a blocked toilet first thing on a Sunday morning is quite another matter.

We have house guests this week. This makes for a busy loo at all times of the day. The infrastructure at Mitchell Towers is ageing and ailing in equal measure and so it came as no surprise that at 7am, we had a plaintiff cry from one of our guests that calamity had befallen one of our last monuments to Victorian sanitation.

It’s raining and this isn’t the sort of house where there are alternate facilities under the same roof. This is the turn of the LAST century, and so the alternative is a trip down the garden to the outside lavvy. Once inside, the roof is leaking and I’ve forgotten to put any shoes on. However, the cistern is made of strong stuff , and even has a trusty chain to pull. Things are working well downstairs.

Back up to the top floor and there are now three of us on the case...one with a bucket, another with towels and the current Mrs M is starting Sunday on knees trying to push a declogger (or whatever it’s called) around a bend so complicated, it makes Whiteholme Road look like the M6.

“Go on then” says one...”pull the chain again...see what happens”.

The bowl fills up with water again and I’m frozen in time watching it when I should be ready with my bucket. Fat lot of use I am.

I can smell coffee downstairs and my mind is diverted as instantly as a magpie spotting something shiny in the distance.

I retire to the office having washed my hands, literally and metaphorically, of the whole affair.

I’m thinking now that the good intent yet lack of progress means we might need to get a man in.

Probably someone who lives for the chance to stick his arm down someone’s loo first thing on a Sunday morning. If you know one, or better still, married to one, send him round.