Yesterday we were without water again. For the entire day. And on Saturday the water was cut off for half a day as well. My mood was not good. Although we have become used to water problems in our area (something to do with an old system of pipes that cannot handle the load), this was the longest we have been without water. We ranted and railed. Not being able to shower and wash my hair puts me in a vile mood. L'Usband felt there was not enough Information about the problem given through to us. Information! he grumbled, Information! At about 9 pm we got a call from the technical services department. With Information. Sorry, the problem persists, they are sending out a water tanker to the neighbourhood with water. By this time I had accepted the waterless day and my grubby state. Actually, I was beginning to see it all as an adventure (a bit late in the day, I admit). We took our three pails and marched up the hill in a roaring wind and pitch darkness - our area does not have street lights - to find the tanker. And two very friendly gentlemen to help us.
L'Usband shivering in the wind, waiting for the pails to be filled ...
... and the two very helpful council workers. Full of smiles. I was beginning to feel quite bad about my attitude. For one day I felt what millions of South Africans without running water in their homes experience every day.
We struggled home with our three pails of precious water. Against what seemed to be a gale force wind. When we got home, the water was on. Yes, the water was running through the pipes. And a little later there was thunder and almighty lightning flashes and the water came pouring down from the heavens, I kid you not.
I did not know what to make of all of this. I still don't know. But this morning, as I was clearing out my bookshelves to make space for new books, I came upon a book by Beverley Nichols called Merry Hall. I got it a few months ago at a car boot sale and I just bought it for the cover which has a lovely illustration (by William McClaren). I have never opened this book. I opened it. It fell open at this page -
I kid you not.