In the midst of this afternoons’ deluge, an idle comment about the lack of water draining into our greenhouse storage tank led to one of Cliffe gardens more ambitious and inventive DIY projects. It transpired that the problem was two-fold, firstly there was a leak at a join half way along, secondly a missing downpipe at the far end meant the water was draining away onto the grass below. Before I continue let me make one thing clear, just as in The Admirable Crichton, for the duration of any of these episodes Hero is always the boss and I am the lackey. This is because she has good ideas and mine are rubbish. I accept this role reversal in good cheer, Hero with glee. Over the years I have learned that I can never win against the razor-sharp common sense of my colleague. My role is to find things; Commandant is in charge of demanding them and then using said objects in a clever way (often a suitable substitute, I mean how was I to know not to thrown out the spectrum line photometer?). First she demanded slate to dam the pipe while we worked on the breach, I raced to the far reaches of the garden, returning puppy like with some with slate only to find she had changed her mind and now wanted a sponge. So I delved under the bench (the land where mouse is king) and found a towel saved for just such an occasion. Next putty was required; off I traipsed into the far corner of the potting shed where legend has it such things lurk and indeed found an almost new pot. Then she yelled (she may have been enjoying this) “screwdriver” with which she chipped away the congealed top layer revealing a pliable layer below. Dam was put in place, putty was applied; can they fix it? of course they can! Except for a slight drip. No one is going to worry about a slight drip, surely? As for the picture, this fried egg is in fact a table tennis ball surrounded by putty which plugged the hole. We are quite brilliant.
But we have failed to address the final problem WHO STOLE THE DOWNPIPE?!!!!