Lipstick for goats

Lipstick for goats

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Hee Haw is heating our water

I truly feel for my rural neighbours who are so reliant on rain fall to fill their household water tanks. I had never really considered how much water I use each day, until I found myself in the situation of not having town water supply. You just don’t think about it with the total convenience of turning on a tap and having an endless supply flow out.  Gosh how easy is it to waste, standing under the nice hot shower just because I could or luxuriating in a super deep bubble bath...... manicured toes peeping out, glass of champagne, Lindt chocolate and that the best seller book ...... oh well back to reality. 

Our only supply of clean drinkable water came from a rusted out tank, which after rain resembled a sprinkler so in actual fact it held about a thimble full of water.  We lugged water from Sydney every weekend, doling out the exact amount one needs to accomplish a water task such as brushing teeth.  It was amazing how quickly it disappeared.    Weekend visitors to the farm knew not to ask what they could bring; the resounding answer was always “Water! Just Water.”  

Up until the house bathroom was usable we showered in a ffffffreeeeezing makeshift tin shed tacked onto the back of our shipping container.  An old bath tub left laying around the farm was appropriated to stand in.   It was given a good scrub and propped up on some bricks so PVC pipe could be attached to direct the water away. 

The colour of the dam water we showered in always bothered me, tannin brown with the addition of floaty organic bits and teensy water bugs.  Yes water bugs! Apparently all healthy dams are made up of zillions of aquatic insects. No, I don’t even want to think about the buggy things....surely they were boiled to oblivion? Were their little dead bodies all through my hair?

Shower number one was the camping style black plastic solar bag, perfectly useless in overcast or cold weather as the water doesn’t heat up.

Attempt number two at cleanliness consisted of a 20 litre bucket with a shower rose screwed into the bottom with an on/off lever. The dam water was boiled up in a copper then transferred to the bucket. The water boiled in the copper always had a smokey eau de parfum hint to it. With this method and the former it was a quick wet down, soap up, rinse off before the water ran out.

A good friend who often comes to the farm to help surprised us with a donkey.  Not the hee-haw four legged type, the clever man had built us a wood burning water heater which when set up had water pressure and felt more like a real shower. Such simple things in life make the heart sing.
Laundry was washed by hand in the old tub next to the donkey.  Goodbye manicures!  

The donkey set up was terrific until the copper pipes froze and burst in winter because we forgot to drain the water from them. 

While our makeshift bathroom shed was chilly in winter, during summer I had to worry about the likelihood of a snake hiding under the bathtub just waiting to strike out at my feet or face as I gingerly leant down to check under it and believe me that was the first thing I did, there was no way I was running outa there nakie with an aggressive Eastern Brown snake hot on my heels.   

It also proved to be a great hangout for Redback spiders ...... humungous Redbacks. Redbacks you could saddle and ride. Surely they are a mutant breed? The Redbacks in residence in our Sydney backyard are tweeny compared to these.   I have to admit I have a fascination with how beautiful the females are; all shiny black orb body with a brilliant vermilion red slash and how’s this for a baby making machine,  she can store sperm up to two years then lay 10 egg sacs, each containing about 250 eggs, and can repeat this a week later.  

My son was recently bitten by a Redback spider, not at the farm.  He was bitten twice on his back while at a pub in a bush setting.  As an adult it made him extremely ill, if he had been an infant or small child it may have been life threatening.   He was treated in hospital with two doses of anti venom; we are now waiting for him to start spinning webs.

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