20 April, 2006

Splash down


- roared the front page of today's Evening Standard. I doubt it had much impact or resonance. There doesn't seem to be any sense of impending crisis within the city, assuming the people I share an office with are a representative cross-section of the city. Which given they all seem to live south of the Thames, unlike me, is probably not a 100% reliable sample. But nobody has spoken about it, not once, and from that I have to assume that nobody is bothered enough about it to make it a topic of conversation.

I wonder if they'll be less tongue-tied when the standpipes are brought out. Because that, I fear, is where London is heading. I've seen two incidences in as many days of people blatantly flouting the hosepipe ban. One was a family, carrying on in their back yard like it was nobody's business, waggling and waving the hosepipe about while simultaneously shrieking at the tops of their voices, thereby helpfully drawing further attention to their law-breaking antics.

I spied them, Mrs Mangel-like, from my living room window, which is high enough to peer down into a number of people's ostensibly private gardens. That was also the place from which I spotted the second instance. This was even more brazen: the staff of a restaurant using a giant hose to wash down various baking trays and metal tins in the middle of a car park. What is this, the Victorian times? People don't wash the dishes in the open air anymore! Why didn't they use a sink?! And why such a self-consciously massive hose instead of a normal garden-sized model? The amount of energy needed to power it was so great that every time they switched it on all the lights in my flat flickered. So not only were they putting the water supply in jeopardy, the electricity seemed to be on the way out as well.

Should I report the perpetrators of these incidences? Would they care? I'm guessing they're assuming nobody can be arsed shopping them to the local water authority. Or they simply aren't fussed about having to pay the subsequent fine. Whatever, when the standpipes do arrive I'm not saving them a place in the queue. Assuming there is a queue, of course, and not a mad scrum desperately lunging for every last drop.

Ah, I wish it would rain down. As someone once inadvisedly sung.


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