20090927

Halcyon Days



I remember when I could sit in the shade of my orange tree, engrossed in a book, sipping iced coffee and crunching on almonds, while the dog patrolled the yard and one of the cats curled beneath my legs, secure in the knowledge that if I happened to spill on myself, as is often the case, I could rinse my clothes in the sink and hop in the shower, and the incident would quickly be just a memory.  My security was compromised in the wee hours last Sunday (see last week's post), when my water line burst.  No running water for me for awhile!

While awaiting the return of my housemate, I showered at my father's house and toted jugs of water from his place to mine.  My housemate finally arrived late Wednesday night and began digging Thursday in the hole I'd started, when he hit a huge mass of roots from the yew tree, which emitted a metal-sounding ping when he hit them.  Those puppies were wrapped around the service line connecting the house to the water company's feed, and they were holding on for dear life so tightly, they broke through.  A good two meters of the iron pipe were badly corroded.


He spent a day figuring out where everything runs.  The feed originally went under the foundation, where it was embedded in a concrete slab under the house and virtually untraceable.  Panic!  And then, he found the feed was diverted to another, easily accessible point, probably due to a previous failure in the line that fed my back house (which was never restored).  We will be replacing the entire line with copper pipe from the service point to the point where the line enters the house.

I helped dig the trench yesterday, a total of 8 meters in length, although we need to hire someone to drill out the last meter and a half under the sidewalk.  That will happen Monday.  In the meantime, the housemate will begin measuring, cutting and sweating pipe for the sections he can complete before then, and installing a pressure regulator.


I am still getting drinking water from dad, but the housemate  rigged up a temporary spigot in the garden for everything else.  At some point, I, the woman who, by choice, used to trudge into the middle of nowhere for days on end without a bath, whimpered about feeling like my house had become a third world country, because I had to bathe using a squeezable water bottle, which was very unsatisfying.  And because I lost one kg for not eating because washing dishes is now an ordeal.  I got no sympathy.  Heavy sigh.

Hopefully, everything will be finished sometime Tuesday, and I will be able to return to my post under the tree, spilling on myself with abandon, and this whole plumbing issue will be a faint memory ... until I receive the bills!