500 miles

Ahh, lockdown. The time to sit back, get the spring cleaning done and spend some quality time with the kids. Aye, but no good story starts with the spring cleaning. Things had started off ok and were going tickety-boo until soon after I’d written the Rock Chick post. Then someone (not me, I hasten to add) decided to ramp up the tempo and figured I was ready for the next level up and needed a new challenge (all terms useful for zoom chats with all normal urban souls but maybe more applied to Scrabble than scrambling about like mad).

The first hint of a problem was a stream of water coming from the byre and exiting via an emergency exit. Upon turfing the cows out briefly, I discovered a leak in their trough. Not just any trough, their emergency trough (and certainly not an M & S one). The normal trough got a massive crack in it just before the Crofter headed off. A new one had been ordered. But this was just as we hit lockdown. The company didn’t know how long it would take. So with that, the emergency one was put into working order and all hunky doory.

Until the fateful day. From working with the Philips screw driver, the two of us soon made sure we had frequent catch ups. If we missed a day, we would be sure to make up for it the following day. Now, the main tap for the water supply is about 500 steps away from the byre trough. It supplies the field troughs too. And the polytunnel. And to check if the system was working, meant something more akin to the bleep test from PE class. For it’s not just a back and forward exercise class, it’s under the pressure that Child 2 is down for a nap which means there are other jobs to get done. And child 1 has been given use of the online babysitter (aka Peppa Pig) so I can move slightly quicker and not have to answer the ‘why’ question for the 482nd time while trying to gain a qualification in plumbing.

Nor has it been a straight wham, bam, strawberry jam solution either. The first overflow issue was initially resolved; the connector and the floating doofer had fallen out with each other (I’m not a plumber, in case you wondered).

In response to that argument, the trough then took a huff and decided to stop all communication with the connector and go dry. Philips and I took a look again. Soon, a wee trip up to the water source was needed. I say wee; distance wasn’t a marathon but if you need to transport two children up a hill I can now recommend a cloth sling for the youngest on the front and a strap sling to hold a toddler on your back. Parking two beside a burn may seem dangerous to Health and Safety awareness people. But believe me, it’s nothing to having to stop a toddler the urge from throwing stones in while you’re in trying to remain dry.

The walk down didn’t seem nearly so bad. The comment by the Mini Crofter didn’t help though. ‘Mummy, shall I turn the other tap back on?’ Aghhh, yes, please…to know he knew of another tap is one thing, but when did he turn it off?

Which is great, until the next day and I’m back to an overflowing trough and a dry polytunnel. Yes, my sons enjoyed wading through the puddled water. Did we eventually sort the water? Yes. A sheared tap was found and sorted, the floating doofer had more stuff stuffed into it, and the boys new paddling puddle dried up. Step count? Much higher than normal but I’m not really wanting to walk 500 more…

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