Sunday, 16 June 2013

Only fit for animals

Water is always a bit short on the island as we totally rely on rainwater, either off the roofs or from a brackish well. But the well has limited water and this is reduced further by the reverse osmosis purification process to get rid of the salt and clean for use. And now the well has run dry. From the start of the season we were on a 1 shower a week to conserve the supply but 7 weeks ago this went to a shower ban but now with no water from the well there is nothing coming through the taps so the May Princess is bringing in containers of water for us to use (many thanks Alec, Kevin and Fiona for looking after us again).
But being this short of water brings home a number of things about our lifestyles when off the island and has given us a number of lessons.
Here are some of our learning points:
1) - not washing leaves all the more time to do other more interesting things in the day,
2) - as long as all the island residents are in the same boat in terms of unwashedness them all things are equal.
3)  - it does really make you appreciate what a luxury it is to have unlimited water coming out of taps. Our water usage on the island would be better but closer to probably the majority of the planets population and so gives just a small inkling of what it must be like to live where any water involves hard work for a very small amount,
4) - we look to make water do as much as possible e.g. using water to wash in, then wash your clothes in and then water the vegetable boxes with it.
St. Johns well where our water comes from. In the 19th century a lighthouse keepers report on the well of the island described it as having water only fit for animals. Read into that what you will.

 I take all the blame for the island having such a dry spring, it is all down to the fact that we built new boardwalks and raised paths to overcome the mud at the beginning of the season since then it has barely rained, only 95 mm in 3 1/2 months, about 60% of average rainfall for the period and the isle of May is already one of the driest places in Scotland. .

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