It's not only boaters who have trouble with their macerators. A certain senior offspring who lives not a million miles away (it would not quite be in good taste to refer to him here as number one son, although that is indeed his name) is dependent on one in his cottage. And it is not, ahem, macerating, although it is pumping fine.
I was apprised of this earlier when he turned up on the doorstep asking if he could borrow my prized Snap-On screwdriver to dismantle the unit. This seemed to me like a Very Bad Idea on a number of fronts, especially if it was going to involve my Snap-On, so I declined, and said he should wait til Jim got back. Provided they haven't actually broken it, it's still under guarantee, so we thought it best to ring up the proper man to come and look at it, but in the meantime we dug out the instruction book and troubleshooting guide, and have diagnosed the problem as a clogged air distributor, or disseminator, or something. I suggested hitting it with a hammer, but my technical expertise was not valued.
Meanwhile of course, life goes on. What a shame, I said, that we don't have a spare porta-potti at home that we could lend them. For we possess two (one belonging to Warrior and one to Helyn) but the bottom half of both is kept on Warrior (a back up and a spare back up). But then Jim remembered that when he last returned from Bill Fen he brought a bottom half with him, on account of the elsan point being frozen. Of course. So we had the bottom half. But could we find the spare top half? Picking our way through our outbuilding which, despite copious Freecycling and downsizing seems to be some kind of bottomless knick knack pit (from which they emerge, rather than one into which they disappear; just thought I ought to make that clear) by the light of a very feeble torch, it was definitely not where I remembered it. Son in question was then sent to clamber, in the dark and the wind and the damp, into Helyn on her trailer on the drive, and search there. The first time he emerged, he said there was only another bottom in there - impossible, I said, and gave him another leg-up. This time he turned it over and lo and behold it was the top so we now had the pair.
They have been duly clipped together and handed over, with instructions and directions as to where to find the manhole cover. Now all we, sorry, they, need is some blue...