Friday, January 14, 2011

late, arch, diversion

Posted by PicasaLate smoker.

A blackbird sits on the garden gate under the arch which I have shaped in the hedge opposite the front door. I think to myself, the arch took three years to grow, but we have provided a shelter, which has exceeded my original largely aesthetic objective.

Water has begun to rise in our basement a few hours after it has rained heavily. It is at present confined to the concrete floor of the larder in one corner of the kitchen, where it does no serious damage. The  question is where precisely does it come from? Meanwhile we take it in turns to sponge up the flow with absorbent cloths. After a while the flow ceases presumably as soon as the water table has lowered, and we can return to normality. In between mopping up duty, I occupy my mind with potential uses for the water? A well? A source of hydroelectric power, a foot bath or a swimming pool?


20th Century Woman said...

Oh, dear. Water must be kept in its place. Who knows what's worse, too much or too little.

Lucy said...

Congratulations in making the watery ingress a beautiful thing! Did the Watermen have any solutions?

The WV is 'pidinet', which sounds a little unfortunate under the circumstances...

Barrett Bonden said...

If the level turned out to be controllable or, cornucopia-like, self-regenerating up to a fixed level this could be your own water-butt when times are droughtish in the south-east and the metro-centric start insisting that Midland and Welsh water be piped south to them. The way you tell this anecdote suggests you are both rather stoic.

Having now used the word stoic, and being aware that it adds up to something more than failing to complain in the face of discomfort, I thought it was time for a little "verification" as we French nuts are wont to say. It is indeed much more: A Stoic of virtue would amend his will to suit the world and remain, in the words of Epictetus, "sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy." Perhaps I should withdraw the suggestion.

Plutarch said...

Thank you, all, for your interest and sympathy. My son-in-law, Dom, an engineer, has provided us with a plan. His analysis, on the telephone, supported by the facts, beats that of the drainage expert who visited us in person and spent a lot of time peering under floor boards and listing potential sources. He wins on the grounds of clarity, logic, perception, brevity and practicality. The conclusion is that the water table, exceptionally high at the moment, is over burdened. His solution: special absorbent material which you lay down in the path of the water and squeeze out when it is laden. He has arranged for some of this to be sent to direct to our house. We should try this for a bit. If it fails he will build a sump where the water accumulates and will install a pump which switches on automatically when the water occurs.

I remain cheerfully stoical. And will think of Epictetus come what may. Although in his History of Western philosophy Bertrand Russell says of him and of that other stoic from the other end of the social spectrum, Marcus Aurelius, "the stoic ethic suited their times because its gospel was one of endurance rather than hope."