Thursday, 2 February 2012

Thursday, but not Thirsty!

2012-02-02 home, water

… Thankful for Water …

On Monday there was a notice put up on the entrance door where I live, to inform all tenants that on Thursday, we would be out of tap water between 8 am to 4 pm because of some repair work.

Had this been back in my working days (when I was away from home during those hours anyway) I’d just have shrugged my shoulders and tried (but probably failed) to be prepared for hissing and splurting water taps when I got back home again.

No longer working and with nowhere to go (at least nowhere I’d feel comfortable to spend a whole day in mid winter!), my first reaction came close to (a moment of) panic.

First of all, shouldn’t an important message like that be put in everyone’s letterbox instead of just on the entrance door? Because there might actually be old or sick people living on their own who might stay in their flat for three days (especially in the winter cold of -10°C we’re having at the moment) and so never get to see the warning…

So I muttered on about that to myself for a while. But of course I never got round to calling the landlord’s office to complain – since, after all, I had seen the message...

Half way through the 8 waterless hours  – I’m beginning to realize that I still over-panicked “just a little” in my own preparations. I just had no grip how much water I’d need to get through a day with none coming out of the taps! So before going to bed yesterday I filled just about every bottle and jug and bucket that I had… Don’t really know what I was thinking!!!

(I shall probably have to keep flushing the toilet manually the rest of the week to empty those buckets in the bathroom!)

Well - at least it serves as a reminder to be truly thankful for one of those everyday things it’s so easy to take for granted in this corner of the world: Clean, fresh, cold or hot water from the tap, any time of the day.

It strikes me that my somewhat over-panicky preparations may be subconsciously related to childhood memories. In the village where I lived then, whenever there was a power cut (likely to occur in the winter storms), we also had no water. So dad used to go round putting cups over the levers on the toilets etc, to remind us not to use them. This morning, just before 8, I found myself doing the same thing… Having just realized, going through my mornings routines, how much of it we do automatically, without really thinking about it. Flush the toilet, wash our hands, brush our teeth and clean the toothbrush under running water; fill the kettle in the kitchen; rinse out a cup or a glass; fill the sink to do the washing up… etc.

To finish off this post… a favourite family photo of my paternal grandparents, proudly posing at the water well on the property where they were about to build their house back in 1930:



  1. I would have done exactly the same thing you did, i beleive in the better safe than sorry, you can always use what you have left over, but if you run out, then it is a problem. we had the same thing as a child, no power no water. daddy would fill the bath tub to the top if we had warnings and sit a bucket by it for flushing. the kitchen counter looked like yours, pots and buckets full all over. with jugs for drinking. you are right losing it for a few hours points out how blessed we are. i love that old photo

  2. I'm that way too. If you prepare for the worst anything else is easy. We're all electric here and on a well so if the electricity goes the water goes too. Love the picture of your Grandparents.

  3. In NZ we are supposed to be prepared for having no water and no electricity at all times ie we are supposed to have full emergency preparations in place for an earthquake. Napier, as some of my readers will recall, was razed to the ground in 1931 by an earthquake and Christchurch has and is suffering badly from the same problem.

    Of course the more mundane events of a day stoppage usually manage to make us over-react. I've been through it so many times in the old days of frequent power cuts on Lewis that I tend to under-react. One day I'll probably get caught out.


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