Friday, February 02, 2007

Don't it always seem to go...

..that you don't know what you’ve got til it’s gone, warbled Joni Mitchell, and how right she was.

Thanks to the Heath Robinson-style eccentricities of Victorian plumbing, the builders next door managed to cut our water off the other night merely by turning a tap.

Man, it was tough. After two hours I could understand how Jean de Florette felt.

What a thin veneer of convenience separates civilisation from barbarism! You can’t even flush the loo.


monix said...

A former colleague returned to the UK after 6 months on a village project in Africa. While there, she had to walk several miles to a well to fetch her daily water. On her second day back home the water board turned off the water while she was in the middle of showering. She was beside herself with rage and only when she found herself screaming down the phone at the manager did she realise the absurdity of her reaction.
Perhaps our environment controls us more than we appreciate. (I hope the loo is back in action.)

David said...

See, now I came here for probing analysis of the apparently stunning news that people lived in the general vicinity of Stonehenge. But rubbishing English plumbing is good, too.

Brit said...


All working again, thanks.

I think it's about expectations, which are relative. Also, the water bills are large enough to justify a certain amount of rage but not too much.


I shall post the sum of my thoughts on Stonehenge for your benefit.

Duck said...

What was the reason that her water was turned off? Was it because she wasn't paying her bill, or was there some other reason peculiar to the British that we Americans wouldn't understand?

monix said...

As most English towns have Victorian water mains, it is not unusual for the water to be turned off while repairs are carried out. The water boards try to give enough notice for residents to fill kettles and pails but, sadly, Brit didn't get a warning!

Harry Eagar said...

So what is it about English plumbing?

In the novels we are always hearing about 'bad drains,' and even in, say, the letters and journals of Waugh.

You never worry about bad drains in American houses.

Brit said...

Drains are fine. Works of art even, especially in London. You can do tours. In fact, the English are notorious for being appalled at the rubbish drains on the continent.

monix said...


I think this calls for one of your odes!

Hey Skipper said...


The manner in which the Brits supply hot water would be hilarious if you could bring yourself to believe it.