Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Thursday, June 29, 2006: Of water and electricity

Part of the plans for this holiday was to order furniture for the Lamia house (the rectangular one on the right) to be delivered in September when we are back again. So we hopped in the Micra and drove down to Fasano to visit Mobiltre (furniture store) and look at dining tables and day beds. For preference metal-framed and glass-topped to echo the internal doors Daniele has had made specially. We identified a candidate truckle bed but didn't order as we had other shops and a week to go.

By this stage the squad of workers had shrunk to just one. Every day Billy "No Mates" is here working on the remainder of the path plus neat-fitting stone covers for the electrical access points and the cisterna (underground water cistern).

The cisterna was not complete last time and we were running off a temporary tank (big blue thing in earlier picture). Now the original cisterna has been deepened, re-roofed, re-lined and re-filled from the communal agricultural cisterna in the road. The water is free but it is rain and ground water so we buy bottled water for drinking and use cisterna water for everything else.

It is still strange to have the lights dim every time you flush the toilet or turn on the tap. This is partly because the drop in pressure cause the water pump to kick in and partly because of the Italian electrical supply. We are the last house at the end of a line of electricity poles and, like many Italian homes, had a supply rated at a pathetic 1.5kW. That meant if you plugged in the kettle and a hairdrier at the same time the main fuse blew and you were plunged into darkness.

We have paid, twice, to be upgraded, once to 3.0kW then to 4.5kW. Now the lights just flicker but we still have to be mindful of the number of appliances on the go at any one time. And we have a whistling kettle that we boil on the gas hob.

1 comment:

Rosa said...

When the hub and I were first married, we lived in the top floor of an old 1800s row house in Georgetown, DC. The only updated electricity was in the bath and we had to brew our coffee there. Otherwise, we would blow a fuse and have to bother the Georgetown University "boys" who rented out the basement, as that's where the fuse box was. Of course, they would just wake up long enough to let the hub in to flip the switch. They would be back asleep in no time. Awww, the memories!