Daily Archives: December 29, 2010


I am sitting listening to the news in Northern Ireland.  About 40,000 people are without running water in their homes across the Province today.  Many have had no water for over a week, and it may continue for several days more.  The extreme weather of the past couple of weeks has played on every weakness in the water mains and pipes.  For some Stores the Boxing Day Sales were a wash out (pun intended), as staff were greeted with floods within the shops when they arrived to open up for the day.

Stand pipes and water distribution centres are the order of the day in many places with queues of people lined up with bottles and containers in order to fill them.  Council run leisure centres are allowing people to use the shower facilities free of charge.

I have listened to so many people complaining about the third world conditions they are facing, having to stand in queues for water IN THIS DAY AND AGE!

What planet do they live on?  It may well be the 21st century but there are many places in our world today where people have no running water at all, never mind hot showers at the press on a button.  They have to stand in line every day and in many cases walk miles in order to do so, before the long trek home with a full container balanced on their heads.

So far I am one of the fortunate ones with water, but how do I deal with the situation when the water stops running?  I manage!

I am old enough to remember the days before Electric showers, plumbed in washing machines and dishwashers.  In my young days Saturday night was ‘Bath night’!  Oh, wait now a minute!  We were not left dirty all the week.  Each in turn were sent to the bathroom morning and evening for a jolly good scrub at the wash basin.  You washed down as far as possible, up as far as possible and didn’t forget possible either!

Scrambling up the stairs the dulcet tones of mammy followed us : ” Don’t forget behind your ears and the backs of your knees!”  Once finished we had to come down for inspection and if the job was not up to standard you were sent back to begin all over again!

Used water was saved for loo flushing.

In my parents time you had to boil all the water for washing both the body and the clothes.

Jack often spoke of the house where he was born.  In the kitchen was a sink with one tap – cold water – and that was where his father shaved and washed every morning before going to the pit (coal mine).  A tin bath was placed in front of the fire for his bath each evening, there were no pithead baths and the water had to be heated, and all the food cooked, over the fire.

We forget we don’t own the earth, we are but tenants and we are not doing a very good job of looking after this place for future generations.