Roll Out the βαρρέλλη
I am writing this on Wednesday morning a day ahead as usual. This means I can’t yet comment on what’s happening in the yUK and the mess that is the Tory party, Brexit and the yUK generally as Ms May-Not-Be PM is currently announcing her leadership disaster thing. My journalist mate over there is sending me headlines by the minute, and it’s all very interesting, but as there’s nothing I can do about it (as I have been stripped of my democratic right to vote), I shall address the more mundane matter of our on-going water adventure. Sitting comfortably? Here’s your update of this thrilling tale – with some photos.
Tuesday. The workman arrived at 3.30 pm and told me a βαρρέλλη (barrel) was on its way – a tank, I assumed correctly. A little while later, while I was inside keeping out of the cold, I heard a few grunts and some plastic-scrapes, the clang of the gate, and popped out to see that a βαρρέλλη had indeed arrived. A great big heavy-duty plastic thing. The guy was pottering about with it on the courtyard floor, so I retreated inside; he knew where I was if needed. About an hour later, things had gone quiet outside, so I took another look. The βαρρέλλη was now magically up on the bathroom roof. I have no idea how he did it, I assume he prepared it, dragged it back outside and then lifted it on a ladder over the courtyard wall, avoiding the vine and the wires that support it, and the mesh, and the railing and squeezed it through a small gap in the rigging and into place. There was no-one around, and I assumed he’d gone home for a well-earned lie-down. It was dusk by now, so I closed the gate and knew he wouldn’t be back to plumb it in that evening.
That meant I could do a quick tidy up and head on up the hill to the godsons’ house where we are babysitting for a few days. Well, teen sitting really which is, surprisingly, much easier. I went to have a quick wash before leaving only to find no water in the taps. Ah ha! I thought. The sterna has finally run dry. Nope. There was enough water in the sterna (it had been raining), and the pump was trying to pump it. Perhaps he’s connected something… A look on the roof and it was clear there were no pipes attached to the barrelli. I did notice it was resting on a couple of plastic water pipes that come from somewhere and go somewhere else, but these are hard plastic and were not crushed. Odd. I reset the pump as best I could, but still no water. I concluded that with everything else going on and the level low, grit or sediment had filtered in and bunged it up. A job for the next day. Off I went to spend a pleasant evening and night up the hill.
Next day, Wednesday. I was home by just after six, to find there was still no water and the pump hadn’t corrected itself. No reason why it should. I popped over the road to tell a rather beleaguered and crestfallen landlord that although we had some water in the sterna, the pump was now not working. He said he’d phone the man – which I am sure he will do, and I expect the guy again probably at 3.30 when he finishes his real job. Meanwhile, I had a brainwave and, as it was town hall supply day, wondered if there was any way I could divert the incoming mains to a variety of bottles we had been collecting. Luckily the in-pipe for the mains is one of those tough plastic ones but flexible enough to be pulled from the sterna entrance and directed, with some spillage, to the bottles one at a time. No need for the pump as this is pressured water from the main pipes. So, I have filled up what we have which should be enough for today and tomorrow, and I’ll do it all again on Friday if the new barrelli is not yet attached. The pump, whether it’s dead or simply injured, will have to wait. No point replacing it if we’re not going to need one until the summer.
I am sure there will be more news on this adventure tomorrow if you can tear yourself away from the car crash which is the yUK at the moment. Oh, and roadworks have begun again on our lane so all the above is accompanied by pneumatic drills. There is good news, however. The accountant rang to say Neil is to receive a merisma – a dividend – from the government (Greek, not British of course). It’s something to do with his name being on the lease for our property rental. I don’t know exactly, and I don’t know how much it might be, but he will investigate today. Might be enough for a new pump…