catchmyfancy: (unstable)
The Dodgy and Tasteless Renovation of 1989 continues to visit its revenge upon my house. 

There has been a faint sort of shrilling, bubbling noise in the pipes down the side of the house for some weeks and it has been driving me slowly nuts.  And when the Maternal Unit got the water bill yesterday we realised that there is a leak.   In a pipe near the Apparently Extremely Bodgy Huge Spa of Wastefulness.  (for the record, I've had exactly two baths the whole time I've lived here; and the spa has never worked in any case: grant me SOME taste!)

Andrew the Master Plumber came today.  You can tell he is a master tradesman, because he has the Twinkly-Eyed Routine down pat.  He was missing the Monosyllabic Apprentice but otherwise, oh, there was twinkling.  I'm amazed he didn't called me "missus" for good measure.

Long story short: the water is turned off at the meter unless I need it, until they can find what the the problem is on Monday and then fix it.   

They may have to move and/or remove or even destroy some of the lovely old red bricks from the wall at the side.  I could just cry. 

And given all my recent attempts at water-saving, the irony of the situation is not lost upon me.

Still, from where I am sitting on the couch I can see four birdies splishing around in the nice clean saved-from-the-shower water I poured into their birdbath this morning; and most of my plants are slowly starting to come good from their roasting on Black Saturday with just the water from the washing machine - so it hasn't been a complete waste of time.
catchmyfancy: (fish)
For I now has a bukkit

It is red and shiny and unlikely to break into degraded pieces like the two clear not-at-all-el-cheapo-but-still-literally-disintegrated-in-my-hands buckets and the yellow bucket of sadness.

So tonight, another two loads of washing and a Much Improved Grey-Water Bucketing experience. 

Firstly I decided to go with the Flow and actually sploshed the remaining water in the grey-water hose on the kitchen floor not-by-accident-at-all and gave it (the floor, not the water) the once-over with with microfibre mop.  Seriously, rinse water with a trace of fabric softener makes for the nicest (and non-slippery) finish and it makes the floor smell nice.  It's a total win-win sitch - you don't use any extra water, the floor gets cleaned and it comes up all fluffy and fresh-smelling.

[ profile] giddyaunt rang up in the middle of the process, but was very nice about being ceremoniously dumped in all manner of places with the cry of "oh shit the rinse cycle!" while I ran around with mops and buckets.  It was interesting having an intense discussion about workplace relations and the scoring of manuscripts in a writing competition in installments. 

This time two buckets and the watering can captured close to 70% of the run-off and I was able to go around the garden twice, including all the way up to the Bottom of the Garden.  No idea if I have fairies living there or not, but they woudl be very clean, damp, peeved fairies if so.

Still need a bigger receptacle for water, at least 50 litres - but I want it to be something I can put a lid on, so mozzies do not come and treat it like a creche.  Shall wander off to Bunnings at some point and see what they got.

catchmyfancy: (fish)
Which this evening went something like this:

1. Fill washing machine up (using cold water, Ingrid and Kay, never fear!) and while it is merrily swooshing, gaily unfurl grey water hose and put out on the garden.  Feel virtuous and sort of domestic goddessy.

2. Think: "hey! this hose must be longer than I thought, it's going a lot further this ti - or, BUGRIT, it has just uncoupled itself from the washing machine hose, dammit!"

3. Go back inside, find that leftover water from last wash in hose is now about 0.5cm deep all over kitchen and laundry.

4. Smile! Brightly!  Recouple hose, give self the "life-lemons-lemonade" speech, bust out the microfibre mop, give kitchen and laundry floors a shock by scrubbing the holy heck out of them.

5. when floor is half-done, wash cycle suddenly finishes.  Run outside, miss about four litres of water and manage to put hose into 10L watering can.  Watch it fill up.  Realise water is still coming.  Run over to left side of garden, dump on parched plants.  Come back, resign self to the 10L that was "lost" by realising the magnolia tree ain't going to say "no" to a free 10L.  Fill up watering can again. Lose the rose - most of these are mature plants, so a deluge is hardly going to bother them.   Keep watering.  Fill birdbath.  Realise I need a second bucket (possibly a third if this is going to work).  Look around for yellow bucket.  Wedge it into garden so it won't tip over as it fills, hear it crack.  *sigh*  Refill watering can for third time, deluge deluge deluge.  Sadly put yellow bucket in recycling (domestic goddessness points getting higher by the second, however). 

6. Washing machine fills up for rinse cycle.  BREATHE.  Realise have second, uncracked bucket, still in shower, full of clean waiting-for-the-hot-water-to-heat-up-shower-water.  Have dim memory of parental units telling me not to put grey water on pot plants.  Run bucket outside, pour water into watering can, relocate rose after brief profanity-flavoured hunt in darkened garden, re-attach to watering can, do quick-n-dirty water of remnants of plants in pots (as I have discovered in the last ten days that they don't like grey water OR being flame-throwered by the sun).  RIGHT.  Now have second bucket.   Stick hose into watering can, ready.

7. Go back inside, finish washing floor, get out remaining Old Towel For Grubby Domestic Purposes (gave the other three to the RSPCA appeal - extra points for philanthropy, no points for household management as really you need two for this sort of thing) and walk towel across the floor to dry it out and give it an extra scrub in the corners where necessary with feet (when you can't kneel for some months after you face-plant onto concrete in the Bourke St mall you develop skills with your feet and toes, believe me).  On the up side, the leftover water in the grey-water hose had traces of the fabulous Tri-nature fabric softener in it, so now my tiled floor is soft and fluffy and smells pretty.

7a.  Go outside to bring the bins in from the front, realise watering can is full again and there is spillage around it.  Ferfuxake.  The spin cycle.  Gah.  *sigh*  Grumpily water the daphne plant.

8.  Dark wash finished.  Haul out clothes.  Put on whites/lights wash (including rinsed towel and scrubbed microfibre mop thingie).

9. This time, I'm ready for the first dump of water.....but a watering can and a bucket is not enough as I have to fill each one, transfer the hose over, and then race over to the plants, dump the water, then race back and...we have overflow by the time I transfer the hose over again.  I know, I know, the magnolia is not going to say "back, back, unclean!" to ANY water at this point of the drought, but still, it's the principle of the thing.  As an aside: I filled up the watering can and bucket three times each.  I am now quite, quite shocked at the amount of water I've been letting gurgle down the drain each time I threw clothes in the washing machine and wandered off to do something else. 

10.  Go and sit down and mope sweat from brow.  Wait for rinse cycle to finish.  Repeat mad bucketing galop.  Still miss several litres of water with bucket size and hose transfer ISSEWS.    Wait again for spin cycle.  This time get most of the run-off.  More watering and bucketing. 

11.  After all the DRAMAAA, putting the clothes on the line is complete anti-climax.

12.  Finally get to stop and evaluate evening's activities:
- kitchen floor cleaned fairly painlessly, if unexpectedly
- ENTIRE back garden watered pretty thoroughly.  (side note: smell of slightly damp earth in back garden for the first time in a month is nice; even edging out bushfire-smoke-smellfor a little while, which is even nicer)
pot-plants watered, if in somewhat frenzied fashion
- bucketing situation completely unsatisfactory.  Realise (a) need larger water storage facility and (b) will have to return to Bunnings and actually buy a 50 litre water butt instead of just pointing at it, and laughing at the name, because, hee - butt.  (c) Will also then not have to buy additional grey-water hose to stretch entire length of garden, hurrah!

13. In other enviro-groovy news
  • I am currently charging up some rechargeable batteries to use in my digital camera;
  • I save the warming-up water in the shower; and use the little egg timer (although if I'm washing my hair I kind of have to turn it over again, but it only gets half-way through the sand and I'm done, honest injun)
  • but am still not coping overly well with the selective toilet-flushing thing.  Either I forget and flush anyway; or I get caught up in how often and it all gets a bit fraught.  *sigh*

Fish news: all four Erics still alive and zippy.  This Friday I will do my first 25%-change-of-water thing, and put the six reslulting litres on one of the big old camellias in the Old Law quad.   It certainly can't hurt 'em, and I would hate to lose any of those trees.  I think they were there when my Dad graduated; I'd like them to be there when one of my nieces comes out of Wilson Hall, clutching her testamur.


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August 2017

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