Sunday, 31 May 2009

Water - a tip and a challenge

Boating makes you very aware of water usage. Most boats these days have reasonable supplies of water but the tanks have to be filled regularly. Last week in Turkey, we were moored at a location which had a water supply most nights - so it was showers all round! For at least two nights we anchored in the bays, so no water, and at Dirsic, they had no water supply - only a well. The had no electricity, either: the generator came on at about 6:30. There was no road access, either, so everything they used in the restaurant was delivered by boat. We watched them preparing Village Bread the evening we were there: first a fire was lit in the oven using brushwood collected from around the area. The oven was on the quayside - no chimney, just a stone structure with a wooden door. When the oven was hot enough, the ashes were raked out and the dough pushed in on a wooden paddle. We sampled the result at breakfast the following morning - great!

But back to water: when we returned home we found that the supply pipe to our house had burst - under the track next to the house. Our meter is 100 yards from the house and the supply pipe goes under an adjacent field - not our property. But in spite of this anomaly, Thames Water wouldn't re-site the meter on our property. So we've been effectively without water for a week or so (we turn it on once or twice a day to fill the header tank and the bottles we use for drinking.) And that's the tip: do you buy bottled water? Try this: save two or three mineral water bottles, rinse them out and fill them with tap water. Leave a space at the top and pop into the fridge. The chlorine will evaporate leaving the water tasting better than the bottled variety - and cleaner, too; have you read the bacterial analysis of some bottled water? Give it a try!

Three weeks of water shortage has made me much more aware of the value of water on tap. According to Water Aid's web site, 884 million people around the world don't have access to safe water. So here's the challenge: fill a few bottles so that you have something to drink and make tea and coffee, then turn off the stop cock for a few hours. Make sure you boiler is safe and be careful not to completely empty your cold tank. See how often you turn on the cold tap in the kitchen. See how long you can manage - then make a donation to Water Aid!

Monday, 25 May 2009


First pictures of our trip to Turkey

Saturday, 2 May 2009

New road signs - and bluebells

The council has erected some wonderful new road signs near us at Little Hampden. They have a traditional look, but appear to be made with modern materials. They are much more sensitive than the coarse ones seen elsewhere; these need to be clear, of course. And wow! Butler's Cross has an apostrophe!

The bluebells are as spectacular as ever. If you get a chance, come over and look at them.

Friday, 1 May 2009

One battery

The battery in my bedside clock gave up a few days ago. I thought I'd only be able to buy a pack of two: the second would probably have died by the time the first one had. However, I was lucky: I saw on the battery rack in the newsagents a packet with one battery removed. It transpires that Janet from the florist next door had had a similar problem and had negotiated to take one battery (she had paid for both) but have the money if someone wanted the other. So I took the £1.50 into Janet and we're both happy.

Now, where do I dispose of the old one...