Thursday, 8 March 2012


Today I had my first delivery of water.

Not the sea water which comes free with every high tide but good, honest, I’d nearly but not quite trust it to drink sort of water.

Despite the damage to my land, the invading sea water only ever came perilously close to flooding the actual accommodation confining itself to knocking down a few half built cottages.

I have been busy. I have not spent all my time staring at or writing gloomy reports of biblical floods. I have been doing Man stuff as well. In UK, water systems work under the pressure a decent head of water gives. Here, unless you mount your tank on a high pedestal (making it impossible for the tanker to unload), you need a pump.

First job then was to install the pump and make the connections to the 15,000 litre above ground water tank. Simple, eh? A couple of hours later the tank was connected to the pump and the pump ready to plug into the electrical supply.

Next connect the pump to the building pipe work. Took me a while of digging around the foundations but eventually I found the inlet pipe to the building. Cool.

Another hour and everything was connected up ready for the arrival of the tanker.

Ten thousand litres of the cleanest water I had seen in over a month. I cupped my hand under a leaky union on the tanker and swilled a bit around my mouth. It wasn’t salty, it had no grit or bits in it. I was pleased.

I stuck the plug of the pump lead into the generator and it kicked into gear. Once the system is pressured up, it should stop running. It didn’t. I opened the outside tap and water gushed out. Clearly the pump was pumping and not spinning air so it wasn’t a priming problem. I closed the tap and the pump kept going.

Shit, the toilet I thought. I can’t call it a bathroom as it has only a bog and a sink, no bath or shower. Sure enough, the sink tap was wide open so I turned it off.

Still the pump kept going.

The building I am talking about is destined to be the kitchen and the male and female toilets of the restaurant. Until shortly before we arrived it was in a raw state and I asked the contractor to fit a toilet and sink in the Men’s lav, leave the ladies lav and fit windows and doors to make it our temporary accommodation.

Still this bloody pump would not switch off.

I checked the toilet again. Tap closed, no leaking toilet cistern.

Must be the pressure switch on the pump, I thought. I pulled out the screw driver and started to tweak.

Still the pump ran.

Come on Tom, don’t get angry or frustrated, nip to the shop, help yourself to a cider, have a quiet smoke and think this one through.

So there I was sitting comfortably by a racing water pump, halfway through a bottle of Savannah and smoking a tab when I heard this almighty scream and Marcia came hurtling around the building shouting the Portuguese equivalent of ‘What the FUCK are you doing?’

Have you ANY idea how fast and how far water, powered by a good couple of metres of head and a 1KW pump, can spurt out of the end of an uncapped water pipe?

Yes, I had turned the tap off in the loo, but I had completely forgotten the not-connected-to-anything pipework to the kitchen that was our temporary bedroom and the ladies loo that was now our kitchen.

In a few hours I had achieved all by myself what the sea and the moon had been trying to do for the last few weeks.

And Marcia had only just started talking to me again.

Still, it has been good drying weather today.


  1. you know what Tom... I would LOve to read Marcia's blog!

  2. She doesn't know how to write. You know in my house for women it is strictly barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.

  3. Dang it! John took my idea!

    Hippo, it sounds more like barefoot, running the shop, doing the math, keeping up the connections in the city, but I could be wrong; I only read the one side of the story.

    Besides, I don't know how to write, and yet I've got two blogs!

    by the way, what were the untranslated words? I'm learning Portuguese, but Sr. Pimsleur doesn't give me any of the fun ones.


  5. JohnD, no sweat, it missed me laptop and the TV and besides, me Shiela was behind with the laundry anyway...

    Dunno what damage there was in the kitchen, I never go in there.

  6. Also, I have to vote for John Cleese playing you now, too...

    Thanks for the translation; I especially love that you wrote it in all caps.

  7. I guess you had the place powerwashed then.

    glad to hear you were able to figure it out before all the water had been pumped out.


  8. Dont worry fella these things happen - but only if you're doing it for free at a mates place!


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