We had one of those classic Monday mornings, where we woke up to find that there was no water on the whole block. Apparently the severe temperatures caused a valve to blow somewhere, as these things are prone to do in extreme temperatures. Luckily, given our previous experience in London with blown water mains, I always keep a reserve of water on hand. Generally, the water comes back on within a day, so I have limited our reserve to two gallons, but I regretted that this morning.
After I cheerfully made a pot of tea, proud of my resourcefulness and foresight, I wandered off to do something, and came back to find that someone had used the rest of the reserve water to flush the toilet. The issue was somewhat resolved with a quick run to the corner shop to snag the last two packs of water, but I was kicking myself. My new plan now involves the two gallons of reserve water for drinking, and numerous cheap plastic bottles full of water for flushing (the plastic bottles leach chemicals, so are not good for storing potable water long-term).
More to the point of this blog, I was thinking this morning what it must have been like during WWII, to have survived an overnight bombing raid only to find out in the morning that you don’t have any water at all. Of course, there were mobile canteens and water trucks, but it still seems that the mark of a truly civilized life is running water.