Except coming out of our taps. For the last two days we were working off of buckets from the green-tinted swimming pool and bottled water. And the adventure continues.
Tuesday we noticed throughout the day the water pressure was getting lower and lower…until finally, after dinner it was down to a pathetic drip. Only a few days earlier we had watched Jean de Florette and Manon de Source. If you know these films you can imagine what silliness was going through our heads (cue visions of Dom setting up explosives to release the hidden water and me seeking revenge on the village for ‘hiding’ the water from us). We decided instead to be sensible and ask our neighbour Patrick if he was having the same issue.
Patrick, I think, is a farmer – I base that on the two giant tractors I see in his barn/garage. But, apparently for the last 9 years, he has also been importing and selling German beer (I forget the brewery, I think it is near Dusseldorf). I think he might have a few other ventures as well. He doesn’t quite know what to make of us yet, but he seemed pleased when we told him we are planning some significant work on the house. He said the previous owner only put in a new boiler for the heating….and the ‘Anglais’ owners before her were more interested in playing golf. Patrick’s mom lives just a few doors down the road (across from the church) and seems very nice- she was recently telling us her husband used to bake bread in our bread oven. Lots of people seem to know Patrick., our contractor even mentioned Patrick when he was over last week. I get the feeling Patrick is the de facto Mayor of the village….
Anyhow, I digress – when I asked Patrick if he was having issues with his water, his partner broke out into peals of laughter and she just kept saying, ‘ahhhh….l’eau’. Patrick explained to us this happens occasionally and we just have to re-do the taps….at which point Dom and I were clearly confused so he offered to show us. ‘Re-doing’ the taps was turning off one of the mains (we have two, one to the village source and one to the SAUR mains), turning on the other, then repeating and supposedly the water just comes back. It didn’t, which puzzled Patrick. He said the whole village had the problem that day and the ‘re-doing’ the taps fixed it. Except for us. Of course.
Finally, after a number of frantic garbled French phone calls over two days, SAUR (the ‘collective group’ that manages most of the water in France) dropped by and had it all fixed in about 15 minutes.
Water back on. Yay! Water pressure now AMAZING. Yay! Boiler can’t cope with fabulous water pressure and overflow nearly floods garage. Not so yay. Luckily (depending on how you define luck, but I am trying to be positive here) we are having a new hot water system installed and integrated with the boiler – so whatever is wrong with the boiler/water pressure will be fixed then.
I think part of getting our water back was us agreeing to some sort of long term contract with SAUR (either that or we just signed our house over to them….not quite sure I was so desperate to have water). Theoretically we have the option to be connected to the village ‘source’ (spring – which runs underground along the back of our property) but the SAUR man told Dom the ‘source’ wasn’t working…strange since it seems to be working for the rest of the village. Oh, and the SAUR man seemed to know Patrick as well.