Good results all round
It was lovely to see Luke who arrived from Berlin last night. His flight was luckily not cancelled, although the two before that were. I managed to cook supper using bottled water and then wash up in bottled water, although not easily - it is surprising how much water is needed to fill a kitchen sink, so I only used a small amount and the water was too shallow.
Then just as I was about to go wash in my 2 inches of water before going to bed, and thinking about those Cape Townians and how they cope with so little water, I realised we had now run out of water. That was upsetting and caused me to have a bad night's sleep.
This morning I took Luke out to breakfast, as it was not worth cooking a full English with no water with which to clean up afterwards. He was undecided what to do about going to Durham but then saw that his train was still running - although many others had been cancelled - so I took him to the station after breakfast and off he went. I think the prospect of cold and snowy Durham was more appealing than the conditions at home due to the water problem!
This morning we took the decision and booked in to a local hotel, as we cannot live in our house with no water - and the heating was now also being affected and we could feel it getting colder. Gavin went to work and had a lovely shower there. He phoned the water supplier again but they were not very helpful, but he managed to find a plumber who said he would try to come to us later that day. Gavin is very determined and wanted to get this water problem resolved, so he came home from work early, and then spent the next 3 hours standing in the falling snow and freezing cold trying to locate where the water pipes run so he could possibly locate the part that was frozen. And he did! The buggers who built this house had very lazily - and for some unknown reason - left a big loop of pipe above ground that was hidden under weed membrane and garden stones. Gavin felt it and yes, it was frozen solid. It was unnecessarily long so he cut it, poured boiling water on the open end and out shot a long tube of frozen ice. He then was busy rejoining the pipe when the plumber arrived, who helped him do so and also gave him lagging to insulate the pipe. Hallelujah we now have water! The plumber was aghast at the shoddy workmanship and said he will come back next week some time to replace the pipe with a thicker one (it was far too narrow) and to also bury it underground as per the regulatory requirements. I was so excited to have water again, I immediately put on the washing machine and ran around flushing toilets!
And my love affair with snow is now definitely OVER! (which is why we have Luke today instead of a snow scene). It is still snowing heavily outside and I am furious at the prospect that my new spring plants have probably all died. The garden is still totally white and everything is covered by the snow. Hopefully it will start warming up a little tomorrow, fingers crossed.