Treasure maps, Pee and Poo!

I heard a shout from the downstairs toilet! I immediately suspected Mrs Sensible had run out of toilet paper. Understanding this wasn’t a life of death event, I causally sauntered through the lounge, out to the utility room to be greeted by Mrs Sensible sat on the loo with 25mm (1 inch in real money)  of water sloshing across the toilet floor.


This is not a picture of Mrs Sensible, she refused to let me take a photo

Mrs Sensible did not look too pleased and it was obviously someones fault that she was stuck in this predicament. As she sat there with her feet raised above the water she demanded.

What have you flushed down the toilet?


Are you sure?

Mrs S, this is your toilet, I use the one on the next floor, therefore you must have blocked it.

The look on Mrs Sensible’s face, said she thought my suggestion was highly improbable.

PN ! What have you flushed down the toilet, to block it?

Pee and Poo!! oh and some toilet paper.

What else???

Well, I once threaten to flush Mishmash down the loo, if that counts.

After three hours of mopping, plunging and cleaning the toilet, it was once more clean enough for Mrs Sensible to grace it with her presence


I plunged and plunged

The following day Mrs Sensible flooded the toilet for a second time. I hasten to add it was not her fault…. and nor was it mine, honest! However Mrs Sensible was banned from using the downstairs toilet. She was ordered kindly asked to use the bathroom on the first floor or even the guest bathroom on the second floor.

Apart from Mrs Sensible needing to climb the stairs every time she wanted to spend a penny (British expression for needing to go for a pee) life returned to normal. The downstairs toilet was off limits.


Off limits to Mrs Sensible and anyone else who might block the loo (not that it was her fault)

One month later the toilet flooded, not only the downstairs bathroom but also the utility room. To be frank, this time there was a slightly pungent aroma to the water that was flooding everywhere. I was less than impressed as I mopped and plunged the toilet.

I realised I needed to solve the issue of the  flooding toilet, banning Mrs Sensible from using it was not solving the problem. Many Italian houses are not connected to the main sewers, they tend to have a septic tank which collects the waste and occasionally needs emptying, especially if you are a Pecora Nera (Black Sheep) and have flushed baby wipes down the loo. I learnt this four years ago when I blocked our last septic tank, the cleaning charge of €300 taught me not to do it again.

Yesterday I went in search of our septic tank to see how full/blocked it was, unfortunately it appeared to be missing. There is normally a small round inspection hatch, maybe in the driveway or in the garden and the curious can inspect the depth of their poo. I found four square inspection hatches with various water valves, but no septic tank.


Ok this picture of a woman searching for a septic tank is just gratuitous

After a long search I contacted my landlord and explained to him that whenever anyone takes a bath, shower or uses one of the toilets, water floods out of the downstairs toilet and my inability to find our septic tank.

The landlord told me, there is a folder and there should be a map of the house and it will show me where the septic tank is.

Pirates map

Arrrr! avast me hearties, tis a treasure map of the secret poo chambers!!!!

The map showed not only one, but two poo holes  septic tanks, both of them are invisible to the naked eye. All I could see was grass. Lots and lots of grass.


Somewhere under here is a septic tank

So I called Bob my friendly builder. Bob arrived to explain a) where my septic tanks where and b) the problem of why my loo back flushes water through the house.


My mate Bob

Bob looked at the treasure map and after carefully positioning himself between the house, garage, me and the big old fig tree he declared……. The poo tank is under my feet. All I could see was grass. He assured me that if I dug down one metre or so, I would find the septic tank. In his opinion either the tube was broken or the septic tank was broken because it shouldn’t flow backwards.

Hmmm! I thought it was time to call the landlord again, Bob kindly talked to my landlord and discussed his findings. My landlord explained that it was not his responsibility, but it was my responsibility to repair the sewage system. Bob thinks the septic tank will need digging out and a proper one installing, I have to agree with Bob because the last owner was a bit of a do it yourself freak and looking at the assorted switches and the strange heating system he installed I think I agree with Bob…. our septic tank will just be a hole in the ground.

While Mrs Sensible ponders this problem, I have decided to start packing my books etc into boxes, because I have a strong suspicious Mrs Sensible is going to put her school marm voice on and tell our landlord we are moving out.

Bob suggested, until we move I could periodically dig out the poo and paper from the tube and dump it down the garden……. I pointed out that I refused to dig out and clean the cats litter tray, so I am not about to start digging out poo every day.

So despite how much I like living in the middle of nowhere, I think it is time to change houses.

Bye for now I have packing to do. Uffa!


35 thoughts on “Treasure maps, Pee and Poo!

  1. Oh dear moving is terrible! Sorry you have to go through that, but a blocked toilet and septic are worse. It seems landlords do not have to be responsible for much in Italy. I shudder when I have to tell ours something does not work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our landlord is fab, when we decided to rent the house he said “don’t worry if anything needs fixing I will pay for it” I forgot to hear the small print in his voice that said Exclusions.. anything that costs money.

      Mrs Sensible believes things should be done correctly and if our landlord wants to be Furbo…. we will move.

      Liked by 2 people

      • When we agreed to lease our place, we asked that several items of furniture be removed to make way for our stuff as they were crap and we didn’t want them. “No problem!” she said. The day we arrived? Stil there and the landlady gave me the Italian shrug. She had nowhere to store them, she said.


        • Unfortunately it is the Italian way, 8 years ago it was difficult to find a house to rent, because of the crisis there are now lots. I like living in the middle of the country but this is not the right house / landlord. We are waiting to find out when Mrs S can transfer to Sicily I had hoped this was our last house in the north before we moved south

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Yep that is a huge problem. I feel for you but here in the states it is generally the landlord who must keep everything working. I say move and move fast. Please take the cats with you and keep them penned in a separate room for at least 3-4 weeks so that they do not run off and try to find their way back to the former house.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sicily is a fabulous place, much nicer than northern Italy, but yes the pace of life is very different.
      However the sun, sea and pizza makes up for the stress of waiting for the builder to arrive


  3. From what you have said, I suspect that your wife is a teacher. “We are waiting to find out when Mrs S can transfer to Sicily” am I correct?
    Sorry for your problems. We have somebody who puts sanitary towels down the toilet and every 6-8 weeks the sewer needs unblocking again. Luckily I’m not on the ground floor.
    Let me know if I’m right….
    Hope to see in the Prov of Salerno one day……..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr Sherlock, I presume 😂 Mrs Sensible is indeed a teacher, she spends her working life teaching chilblains how to tie their shoes and not to pick their noses, well not to pick them when she is watching. Yes we hope to move within 18 months….

      Salerno is fab, we drive past it each summer on our way to Sicily


  4. Pingback: The great poo adventure or when all great plans go wrong. | Englishman in Italy

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