When we first bought Godzillavilla it was actually a little more habitable than it became once reconstruction started. It had running water (cold only), rudimentary electricity, and actual opening and closing windows instead of just holes. It also had a functioning toilet.

This was the hygienic part

Based on these luxuries we decided to camp out in the house for a couple of weeks in the first summer. We slept on cots on the middle floor and let the bats keep the top floor, while the squirrels held firm to the bottom level. The squirrels were, in fact, so angry about us being in their house that they used to come out at night and cling to the beams that held up the floor under our beds, chattering their displeasure at the top of their ferocious little lungs. Apparently squirrels are highly territorial.

Being no strangers to real, outdoor camping, we found this fun. So it was a most unfortunate day when we decided to make a garden table out of a slate slab that had been lying on the ground beside the wall of the house, in the area we were clearing for the garden. It was a lovely slab, thick and nicely rectangular; why would anyone have left such a nice thing on the ground? We prised it up carefully and discovered the answer: it was the cover to an otherwise open cesspool that by then contained two weeks of toilet dumpings. The toilet drained directly into it.

Gives new meaning to the term 'bog garden'

That’s when we decided to rent the little apartment up the road. It has a real toilet – and no squirrels. Add a septic system to the list of Godzilla’s needs!