The Saga of the Leak – part the second
|01/02/2011||Filled under England, Yeovil|
Now the men of Wessex Water they make their own laws regarding when, where and how to dig to find a leak, when it is proper for sod to be turned, how deep to dig and when they should extract payment for doing so. And if their own people do not follow those laws and rules then the noble men who manage Wessex Water can exact penalties against wrongdoers or indeed may also award gifts to those who have been wronged. Such a gift has now been bestowed upon the bearded Malcolm and his good lady and this saga has already passed into the folklore of the men of water with their listening sticks and their spades. It pays to complain.
But such men do not take kindly to water hissing from their pipes and they do not like to be beaten. So they have paused for thought, weighed up the balance of skills and technologies available to them, planned a new campaign of assault and consulted the oracles regarding the most favourable day of the week on which to begin. Meanwhile the hissing of the leak continues unabated although the water still flows in the pipes and tubes so life continues with little change – until the Day of the Dig. This is the day the whole of Somerset will not forget, the day when the soil was peeled back so that the pipes beneath were revealed to all, a day when every substance which lies hidden below was exposed to human eyes, a day when the long-lost knowledge of pipes would be re-discovered, finally, once and for all time, never to be forgotten again.
On the morning of the chosen day the sun rose above the horizon but it hid its face from the men of Wessex and the wind it blew cold. Those men they had arisen early, champing at the bit like stallions in protective clothing, their large boots thudding to the ground as they emerged from their coloured vehicles. They had brought with them their listening sticks, they had brought their spades but most of all they had brought their favourite machine, a rather nice grey and red one with a long arm for digging deeper and further.
”Let digging commence”, they cried with one voice as they laid into the ground. Rapidly the first hole appeared, swiftly followed by a second and a third. The men of Wessex fell over themselves to dig deeper and further, the competition amongst them was intense. By noon and soon after their fifth cup of tea they had traced a pipe as far as the house of Malcolm and Catriona, the black plastic seeing the light of day for the first time for many years. There it was at last, the knowledge guarded by the men who built was at last revealed to the men who dig, the lost pipes had been found.
But what of the leak? What of the hissing beneath and the water that escaped to run away into the ground? Tracing the pipe is only part of this saga as despite eight holes having now been dug, we still have water seeping away into the night. No wonder there are floods around the other side of the world in Australia!
The men of Wessex departed to their homes and families no doubt to sing songs of pipes lost and found, to brag of the holes they had dug that day, to tell tales to those who would listen of great deeds and how many sugars they took in their tea. For the bearded Malcolm and his lady however the story had yet to end. The saga of the leak must have yet another chapter, the one in which the leak is finally quenched so the water flows no more. Make yourself comfortable where you sit and read on to the end of this tale.
Now the thing about pipes that lie hidden beneath the ground outside houses is that they work best when they are connected to pipes within houses or, as they say locally, “That’s what he do round here”. This final chapter in this saga is about connecting the without to the within and the men who do these things, not Wessex men but men from Sherborne, that is across the border in Dorset. So it was that a Dorset man, this one calling himself Sid, came to the house of Malcolm and his good lady to make a connection that would stop the leaking water from leaking and hissing away. There was much discussion as to the best way this could be done, whether if the water ran backwards in the pipes within the house it would still flow from the taps in the same way, so that the lady Catriona could bathe herself and make free with the oils and essences to purify her skin as she was wont to do. And at last ‘The Day of Connecting’ dawned, another day when the wind it blew hard and cold but nothing could prevent the connection being made for the lost pipes had been found by the men of Wessex and the Dorset man called Sid wielded his spanner for all to see. The pipes bent beneath his will and became one with the water inside and all was well at last. The deed had been done and the leak was no more.
So it is that the saga ends.
We now have a quiet house, one that hisses no more. Sleep is difficult, of course, as the noise of silence is deafening but it is pleasant to know that all is well with our pipes once more. This whole process has been a learning experience for us both although not a particularly enjoyable one. While waiting for this or that to happen we have felt trapped, unable to leave the house for any length of time in case someone turned up to dig another hole. We both feel like a break, perhaps even a holiday is called for, a term not generally applicable to retired persons, so where better than a few days in Scotland in mid-winter. Flight and accommodation booked, transport arranged, off we go!