August 27, 2010
We had been told that water rates in the south of France were high but had thought that was just the usual pessimism of the ex-pat.
We seemed to be paying just a nominal amount until, in Spring, we had a visit from the water meter reader.
He read our meter for, it turned, out the first time since we had bought the house.
The nominal rate we were paying had been worked out, over many years of use by small group of frugal nuns living here.
When the meter man read the dial he gave us the classic French exclamation of shock/ horror by saying; O la la la la la la !
We kinda knew we were in for trouble but the bill, when it arrived for €900 odd took some of the wind out of our sails.
It has been a dry summer and there is a directive in Herault to be careful with water and a suggestion that a hosepipe ban may be brought in.
That would be the kiss of death for the few plants which we have managed to nurse through the summer.
It was time certainly for plan B.
In our cellar, we discovered after we had bought the house, there is a well.
A board covers a hole in the ground and over it is a chain from which it is obvious a bucket was lowered.
It seemed to have water in it but our expertise was a little limited and (having had previous experience of living with a well which dried out at inconvenient moments) so we put the well, and the pumping out of water from same on the long finger. It became plan B.
For the last week we have had the good fortune of having Eileen and her copain staying with us.
Phil is half human, half plumber.
Very much an occasion of being the right person at the right place at the right time.
Himself and meself visited Castorama yesterday and for the princely sum of €24.95 we bought a garden pump.
Phil installed the machine down the well yesterday and so far I have managed to give the garden two severe soakings - without any noticable drop in levels in the well- and this at the end of a long hot summer.
Thank you Phil ,we just may have cracked it.