Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Yesterday the water pressure went down to a degree where the toilet wouldn`t flush, so I turned it up. This involves going out in front of the house, getting out a lot of tools including a plumber`s key and the really big crowbar, lifting the manhole cover over the toby, putting my arm down and searching in the murk for the right bit, and turning it on with the key. It`s every bit as bad as it sounds.

And why did I have to change it at all? It`a another tale of the seamy side of country living. One of the little gems the estate agent will never mention.

You see, I live at the very end of the water main. The flow stops here.

Now that`s just fine during the day. Everyone up the line is using water. But as the night draws on, less and less is used.........and the pressure mounts steadily. And it builds up here

It`s in the small hours that it happens.

The least of it is that the outside tap at the end garage blows off. I usually find it a few yards away, and the fountain of water isn`t hurting anything.

The worst of it is leaks in the house. And this is an old house with very ancient plumbing, some of it amateur. Something`s gotta give. It`s as creaky and cranky as the Vital Spark`s engine, or the starship Enterprise`s, and I can just hear McPhail or Scotty , faced with my ancient banging pipes, crying "She canna take any mair, captain!"

The ultimate is the Exploding Toilet. This is usually a 3am event. You hear the crack - that`s the ballcock valve giving way - then the thud as the cistern cover attempts to take off for Mars, then a sound very like Niagara Falls. And when you reach the bathroom it looks very like Niagara Falls.

And what do you do then? See paragraph one. Except this time you are doing it in a hurry in the middle of the night, and the tools aren`t where they should be and if it`s frosty you have to thaw the toby manhole with kettles of boiling water before you can lift it, and if you really can`t find the crowbar you are reduced to trying to lift it with a big cold chisel you swore you would never ruin the edge on.

And you break all your nails.

Since I put the pressure up I have discovered that they are working on the pipes down the road. It must have been a temporary glitch.

And now here we are on full pressure.

And night`s coming on.............
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