Friday, February 23, 2007

(the picture is of "Yorkshire folk", the reason for it will become apparent below)
A few years ago, I went to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, North Wales to do The Whole House Course: an excellent few days during which we were taught such topics as ecological building design for low energy consumption, green building technologies, healthier habitats, the use of environmentally friendly building materials and water efficiency, conservation and drainage. I remember that towards the end of the course, we watched a video about house maintenance, not nearly as glamorous as solar panels or reed bed sewage systems but an essential part of making and maintaining an ecological house. Which is a rather long-winded introduction to me telling you how I finally took the water trap underneath the shower apart yesterday and removed a large black slimy hairball (I’ll spare you a photo!) which means the water now drains properly. Before, the tray would fill up while taking a shower and then take an age to drain and Gabrielle developed a technique of half filling the basin with cold water then draining it, which created a watery momentum and helped: literally throwing water down the drain!

Why had it stayed on the list of “things to do” for so long? Because often, when one disturbs plumbing joints they don’t easily go back together, or need a new washer, or perhaps I’d need a complete new trap … so it just got left. And why did I decide to take it apart gone seven in the evening with guests expected within three quarters of an hour and me still in my working clothes and needing a shower, especially after my last plumbing event (see the blog for February 9th)? Precisely because it had been on the list for so long and was now on my list of “things to do today” and also because, for some unfortunate reason, blokes seem to be pre-programmed to embark on projects like this at awkward times! For once, it all ended happily and took less than ten minutes, now drains properly and doesn’t leak.

David, a friend who lives in our old hometown of Brighton, has suggested a way of spicing up the blog and as today’s has perhaps the dullest of subject matters for a while, I thought I’d give it a go. It’s a comic translating website that converts text into a British or Irish dialect and works quite well. Now follows the paragraph above, translated into a Yorkshire dialect; it works best if you try to put on the accent whilst reading it. If you’re one of our readers from elsewhere in the world, this will probably make no sense at all, sorry!

Why 'ed it stayed ont' list o' “things ta do” for sa long? 'cos often, when 'un disturbs plumbin joints thee don’t easily nip on back togetha, or need eur new washa, or 'appen i’d need eur complete new trap … sa it just getten gallock. 'n why did ah decide ta tek it apart gone seven int' evenin wi' guests expected within three quarters o' an 'ahr 'n uz still i' uz wukkin cleeas 'n needin eur showa, especially afta uz last plumbin event (see t' blog for february 9th)? precisely 'cos it 'ed bin ont' list for sa long 'n wor naw on uz list o' “things ta doa today” 'n alsoa 'cos, for um unfortunate reason, blokes seem ta be pre-programmed ta embark on projects li' dis a' awkward times! for once, it orl ended 'appily 'n tuk less than ten minutes, naw drains properly 'n dunt leyt.