All I Want for Xmas…

…is running water.

First thing I do is grab a bottle of clean, crisp water. Until I turn the mains back on from a little well in the pavement this is the only source of water there is.

Secondly, after re-hydrating from a decent sleep, I stir the stove. Setting the fire blazing doesn’t take long as there are still glowing coal embers from our night without central heating. The coal has probably been shipped here from China.

When a tiny leak developed in one of the pipes in the kitchen because the washing machine was rocking on the tiles, it felt a little disastrous. I’d never lived without water from a running tap, so how could we survive?! The spray from it isn’t bad when the mains stop-cock is turned on long enough to fill buckets, toilet cisterns, tubs and the kettle. Without our neighbours to refill a bucket for flushing the toilet the situation, at worse, could become a little smelly. And over time hygiene would become a serious issue.

No running water nor heating, and my partner is having her period. We didn’t realise how easy it is to take water for granted; To turn on a tap and not think of the process of how the most precious substance comes to our houses.
It’s freezing and just one of those things that happens in life. It’s difficult to write about appreciation. But the Chinese coal will slowly warm the house: Grains from a packet, grown in Britain, will warm my belly with a cup of tea. I don’t have to worry. We still have gas and electricity piped into the house. We still have fuel in the vans to get more food from shops.

But so many don’t live with running water. They don’t have the luxury of use and it pulls this into focus, especially because it’s Christmas time. So many won’t have fuel to heat their homes. Some don’t have a secure source of food.

Living without water for a little while is certainly helping me appreciate modern life.

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