Sunday, 19 April 2009

And down the well we go

Actually, it was not we, it was Lester. I just clucked around him like one of Denise's chickens (over at Much Malarkey Manor).

The well is deep, you see, and Lester bless him, is gathering unto himself a number of scars from the bumps he keeps getting. Being at the bottom of a well is likely to produce quite a big bump.

But,"We need to get off-grid" is one of Lester's pet subjects. Off-grid for food, off-grid for electricity, off-grid for water, off-grid for fuel. So there I was, doing cookingy things in the kitchen caravan, Lester yells through the door as he passes on by "I'm off down the well. I've got an experiment to do with Bruno". Ah, Bruno. Whenever he appears there is normally some man-stuff going to be happening. Like disappearing down to the donkey farm, or clearing off into Plaisance for a boy's jolly round the market and the bar.
I was busy. Making bread. Hands sticky. Couldn't really interfere.

Clang. Oh-oh! Sounded like the ladders.

Bread slapped down into tin sharpish. I knew it was going to complain later because it hadn't been rolled around enough (bread does like to have a friendly romp around under the hands. If it doesn't get such nice treatment it tends to not bother rising properly, and fetches up less than lovely.) Out to the front I trotted, to see the ladders extending a couple of feet in the air, the rest being in the well. Lester's hat was disappering down the ladder, presumably still attached to Lester's head.

Bruno turned to me sweetly, and said 'Lester, he go down the well', which was obvious because now his voice was yelling out that he had reached the water, and could he have a bucket sent down so he could test the water and see how deep it was.

"eet ees exciting! Now you have water." Bruno says, full of boyish enthusiasm.
'No, eet eees not exciting' I am thinking to myself, my head full of worrying thoughts like 'what if he falls into the water, how deep is it? What if slips and hurts himself, how are we going to get him back up.' and "Lester, will you get yourself back up here" I find myself yelling.

"NO" he sends back up. "I want a bucket. Get me that red bucket". Oh, the red bucket which was originally purchased by myself for doing the floors with, or rather mopping the tarpaulins because we don't actually have a 'floor' in the normal sense. Not solid, indoor-type floors. We have caravan floors which are carpeted but covered over with towels and throws in an effort to keep them from getting too wet or too muddy, and they are getting bouncy, trampolin bouncy, the more we walk over them. One of these days we are going to step heavily and either end up going through the 'floor' or we will find ourselves hitting out heads on the ceiling by the bounce-effect.

I use the red bucket and mop to wash over the tarpaulins which lie outside around our living quarters. They don't look particularly attractive, but it is a case of either have wet caravan floors, or wet and muddy caravan floors, and the tarps cover the ground like an external carpet. Washing them over makes me feel that I am making an attempt at keeping the place clean. To be quite honest, it doesn't make any difference really, since we both wear boots which leave chunks of mud everywhere, except for Boolie but he has four furry feet which seem to gather as much wet mud as all our boots put together.

However, a while ago, the red bucket was found by The Man of the House, or rather The Man of the Roofless House, Two Caravans, and an Office. It is rarely seen. It is always Somewhere Else, being used for things it has no right to be used for. So now I am supposed to locate the red bucket and send it down the well to The Man so he can mess about in the water at the bottom of the well as an 'experiment'.

It was at this point I went off the boil with it all. I do that. Go off the boil. I happily go along with The Man's projects, and then I seem to reach a point when I rapidly lose interest, like a gas ring being switched off under a pan of boiling water.

So, I walked off, yelling back at him some excuse or other, leaving him and Bruno to sort out the experiment between them.

It went well, down the well. Bruno found a metal bucket which unfortunately had a hole in the bottom, tied it to a length of rope and sent it down to Lester. Apparently there was some altercation between them as to the angle of the hauling up of the bucket. Full of wet sludge, through the hole in the bottom of the bucket, much of the contents dripped back onto Lester as he stood up to his knees in the water. I know it was messy down at the bottom of the well, because I was handed a pile of very messy clothes to wash.

He was not best pleased that I lacked enthusiasm to join in the 'experiment' to get the well going. But I think that sometimes men are best left to get on with having their 'adventures', and him and Bruno enjoyed themselves more without a woman clucking around them, telling them to 'be careful', 'the bucket's got a hole in it, so it isn't going to be any good', 'you need a hard hat Lester', 'Bruno, be careful, that bucket's going to hit Lester on the head in a minute', and so on.

The upshot of the 'experiment' is that we can pump loads of water out of the well, which is running clear because it is being filtered through an ancient river bed system.

Bruno had just filled his swimming pool up with water from his well. We do not plan to have a swimming pool, we want a roof.

And Lester has come up with the stirling idea of building a water tower into which the well-water will be pumped, and from which all our water-needs can then be taken.
Unfortunately, a water tower is not something I can go along with. I think it will look 'orrible. So I have managed to get him to agree to a ground 'water tower'. What I mean is, a water tank at ground level, over which we will put a 'hat' of trellis and grow plants on it, so the tank will have a floral hat, which I think will look quite nice.

Pour ce momente, the well has been abandoned. The rotovator has been repaired and he is ploughing everything up. But I will tell you about that tomorrow. But the well-project has joined the queue for self-sufficiency-must-do. I await with interest Bruno and Lester's next experiment. Hopefully it will not involve buckets, ladders, and wells.