Actually it is our plumbing. Our cold water is gravity fed from a roof tank. As you go down each floor, the pressure gets higher and higher and so there are valves to control the pressure on each floor. The building is 20 odd years old and the valves are being progressively replaced, and not soon enough for us. They are known as water (pressure?) tempering valves.
For some time now we turn on a cold tap and cold water comes out from the immediate pipes but then the water warms for a little bit and then becomes properly cold. The problem has been getting worse. While it happened one day before we went away, the water stopped being cold altogether and it was warm enough to shower under without adding warm water. It only lasted a day before it returned to former still annoying state.
But Tuesday the cold water was too hot to shower under and I only managed by throwing water on myself with my hands, soaping myself and then throwing water at myself again to rinse off. R was better off with his shower over his bath and managed by turning the cold bath tap on at full pelt which seemed to cool the water from the shower enough to be bearable.
It was no better today, Wednesday. I used R's shower and his method to get water cool enough to shower. We are wasting a lot of water, but I suppose the dishwasher has to heat less and we aren't using any hot water. Even the toilet cisterns are warm to touch.
I went to see our building manager and he called the building's plumber who came this afternoon and made some temporary adjustments so the cold water is now tepid, which will do until the new valves are fitted and the plumber thought our floor was the next to be done.
I feel safe once home and I have washed my hands after being out, but the plumber was an intrusion into our safe space, so I disinfected the inside and outside door handles and tap handles.
We did go out to buy a few things yesterday and bought take away coffee. Today we drove to the beach and bought take away coffee, sat on benches and watched the waves and felt very sad. We have stopped using cash and many places have stopped taking cash.
Tomorrow we will still take Mother out, but not to eat. We may buy take away coffee or take a thermos.
As retired people with secure incomes, we are in a privileged position compared to so many, but I am angry with our Federal Government for cutting the numbers of government staff at our social security places, leading to queues of people in the street just to get a service number, seven hour waits on the telephone and for two consecutive days the government website crashed because of sheer numbers trying to use it. The website at the very least should have the capacity to deal with disasters like now.
Had our Federal and State Governments, supermarkets and liquour outlets acted sooner, we would be in a much better space.
What I wonder about is the economic aftermath. Supermarket workers may be laid off as people work through their stockpiles. The recently booming cruise ship business is stuffed. Who will want to live in a effectively a petrie dish with a couple of thousand people at buffet breakfasts?
I spoke to Sister this evening. She was sitting alone at the beach too and wanted to show me the waves but it seems I haven't turned on Facetime on my phone. She cried yesterday at the stress and distress of it all yet she too is in a privileged position. Bone Doctor had the day off yesterday but the flu vaccine had arrived, so she made home visits to administer doses after seeking permission from each person. One 92 year old woman's carer had not turned up so off Bone Doctor went on her bicycle to the local supermarket to buy her some necessities.
You will have often read me whinging about our overpopulation and I don't step back from that. I don't like crowded public transport. I don't like road congestion. I don't like our parks being so full of people that you can't use a public barbeque. All Too Big Missy. But I should be careful for what I wish for. Roads are empty. Public transport is empty. Streets are empty. And I don't like it.
Are we all depressed about what is happening in the world? I certainly am. Should we blame peasants in China for eating bats and unsafe slaughter practices? Not sure. Should we blame China for not acting quickly after the outbreak? Probably. Should we blame our Western governments for not acting sooner, yes.