Wishing for Water

I should be in Italy. Whenever I have a trip away planned, I write a blog ready to post in my absence, and then write about the trip when I’m home again. Obviously, we had to cancel the trip to Italy, but I rather liked this blog, so am posting it anyway. It was written ages ago, long before I had even heard of Covid-19. Enjoy.


Woke yesterday morning, jumped in the shower, noticed the water pressure was slightly less than expected. Thought no more of it.

Went to sort the poultry. Refilled their water and noticed the hose wasn’t working too well. Thought no more of it.

About midday, made a jug of coffee. Noticed the kitchen tap definitely had less water pressure. Decided I would ask Husband when he got home from work.

By lunch time, the water in the taps had slowed to a steady trickle—enough to fill a kettle or wash your hands, but you wouldn’t have wanted to shower under it. Phoned the waterboard.

The woman who eventually answered the phone, after I had listened to numerous recorded messages and pressed a variety of keys, took my details, and said we probably had a leak somewhere on our property. I was given an appointment for an engineer in about 6 weeks time.

I searched the property. No sign of a leak. Water was now barely trickling from taps at all. Phoned unhelpful waterboard lady again. I was told that as we still had water (all be it not very much) then we did not count as an ’emergency’. I could cope for a few weeks.

About 2pm, the taps were empty. Checked with nearest neighbours—they had no water either, so fault was not on my property. I walked up and down the lanes near the house, looking for signs of water bubbling up. Only found puddles. Returned to house to phone unhelpful woman again.

I was told that I was now on the emergency list, and an engineer would visit shortly. I asked how long that would be. She didn’t know. I asked if it would be today. She didn’t know, but thought that it probably would be. I asked how long, legally, I could be left with no water. I was told 12 hours. There was a knock at the door, so I carried the phone, with unhelpful woman still talking, to the door.

There was a water engineer. I was impressed!

Thanked potentially helpful woman (actually, I think their arrival was unrelated, as they were checking the water in the area due to several complaints).

Engineer checked water pressure (none) and went off to try and find the problem. He was very friendly and apologetic and promised someone would deliver some bottled water, but he had no idea why we had no water.

 About 5:30, a delivery of bottled water arrived. As water to drink, it was loads. For cooking—not so sure. For washing hands, crockery, muddy dogs—it was a mere drop in the ocean. Decided everything would stay dirty. Hoped taps would fill again soon, and contacted relatives to discuss the possibility of an early morning shower at their house.

As I began to cook dinner, I realised how much water I usually use—and the amount that I regularly waste. Instead of reaching for the most convenient saucepan, I chose the one which was as small as possible and would still hold the vegetables. Instead of peeling potatoes, rinsing them, cooking them in a depth of water, I tipped in enough water to cover them, and put them on to boil. The main thing I noticed was how often I usually rinse my hands when cooking, how often I usually wipe the work-surface (rinsing cloth under the tap between each wipe). When things cooked, I usually sloosh water into the empty saucepans and tins, so they soak before they can be washed. This time I had to use the water that the veg had cooked in, straining them straight into dirty meat tins and using the ‘stock’ to soak the pans.

After dinner, we discussed a plan for the night. At some point we would need to flush the toilets, so Husband heaved buckets of pond water down to the garage. We stuck notes on the upstairs washrooms, reminding forgetful/tired/drunk off-spring that they couldn’t use the upstairs loo in the night!

The dog was shut in the utility room, covered in mud. She had ignored my instructions to stay clean on the walk.

At about 10pm, just as I was thinking about going to bed, Husband shouted to say the water was on! I ran to a tap, watched it choke and hiss out, expelling the air, gushing clean and cold into the sink. The relief was immense. I appreciate my plumbing in a whole new way!

I  am lying in bed, when I hear Husband open the door to a cheerful waterboard man who wants to check the water. Husband asks if he would mind removing his shoes. “Oh yes,” laughs dirty water man, “you don’t want to know where I’ve been today!” I hear Husband, and sewer water man head for my clean kitchen. What will sewer man touch? Where will he place his sewer toolbox while he works? Why the heck is Husband taking him into the KITCHEN???? I leap into a dressing gown and rush downstairs to monitor placing of hands, tools, dirty coat. Dirty sewer man puts his toolbox on my cooker hob (clearly a good place for a dirty toolbox) then turns on the kitchen tap. He collects samples of water, and tests it for clarity, and chlorine content, and possibly other things–I am more concentrating on what he touches. He tells us that the problem was in another town, which our water happens to be routed through.
Cheerful sewer man then leaves. I go to work with my detox spray, cleaning everything that has been touched, while Husband looks on, bemused.

Hope you have a nice clean day. Thank you for reading.

Take care.

Love, Anne x

Thank you for reading
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Invisible Jane continues tomorrow. . .


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