Posts Tagged ‘water’

It can be hard to imagine what a Vicar does all day, particularly if you watch Midsomer Murders, where the clergy mainly seem to skulk about looking sinister and then getting murdered. Or doing something nefarious.

So to give you a glimpse of what the Vicar does in our parish, here’s a set of pictures from a couple of days ago, showing you what the Vicar does on a Monday after leading a school assembly and meeting with church staff to plan the week ahead.

He’s got the pump that we’re using temporarily to drain down the basement where the boilers for the church heating are located. The old pump has been broken for a while and this is actually the one from the birthing pool we used to use for baptisms (we now have a shallower, wider heated paddling pool). The old pump worked automatically, but this one has to be switched on when the basement gets flooded. And it can get a bit clogged and mucky. So after draining the basement down following some recent heavy rain, it was brought into our back yard for cleaning, and for making an amusing fountain.

They don’t give you lectures on drain pump maintenance at theological college. Or on boilers for that matter. But they probably should.

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Oh dear. The sump pump the Vicar thought he’d got working last night didn’t do the business. When he went into the basement to check this morning he found that the water was at the same depth. As he’s off on the diocesan clergy conference for a couple of days, a church member is going to look into what needs to be done. But the Vicar wanted the water to be out so the church member could quickly get on with the work. And he was worried about the boilers that are in the basement. Thankfully, the Vicar had a brainwave and dug out the pump that we normally use to empty the portable baptistry.

A bit of Heath Robinsoning later and the Vicar and BytheSea had popped the pump in the sump and the delivery hose into the churchyard. The Vicar then left for his conference and BytheSea has been cementing his ministry training by popping out regularly to ensure that the water isn’t running back down the basement steps.

This was the sight that greeted me as I went down to the school to help with Christian Club. And BytheSea has now reported that most of the water has gone. For now.

Unexpected Churchyard Water Feature

Unexpected churchyard water feature

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If you’re a regular visitor here at the Vicarage, you probably know that back in those hazy days before children and keeping warm loomed large in my day, I used to design sewage works (among other things water-related). One of the odder hang-overs from those days is that I still often notice sewage works as I’m driving around, and especially if I travel by train (railways often follow rivers and that’s where many sewage works are located).

Thanks to Twitter, I’ve discovered that tomorrow, 19th November, is not only BBC Children in Need day, but has also been designated ‘World Toilet Day’. So my kids are going to school in spotty hankies tomorrow. But for today, here is Dancing in the Loo.

And why not play Flush Tracker and work out where things go after you flush. And think about donating for toilets in places where people don’t have the opportunity to flush…

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When people ask me what my job is these days, I usually say I’m a mother, or a full time clergy wife. And that I’m not paid to do either of these things! And since people like to pop people in pigeonholes, they are sometimes surprised to find out, usually at a much later date, that I used to design systems for mechanical equipment for water and sewage treatment.

Sometimes I want to tell people that I was a sh** engineer, but I wasn’t that bad really and also I tend not to swear if I can help it. I can still spot all the sewage works from a train window, though.

I quite enjoyed working in the water industry. I spent my UK career with consulting engineers, Mott MacDonald and then worked in Malaysia for the (then) new national wastewater (euphemism for sewage) company, Indah Water. After that, whilst we were still living in the Far East, I worked as a freelancer for Symonds Travers Morgan and French contractor Vivendi Water.

Anyway, today I thought I’d tell you a bit of my watery history,because today is Blog Action Day. Now, I’m not normally into memes and group bloggy things, but water is something I know a bit about. Actually, I probably know more about dirty water (another polite word for sewage). But the challenge is that about one in six people in our world don’t have access to clean drinking water. And often the reason that drinking water isn’t clean is because the wastewater hasn’t been cleaned up. And nobody ever thinks about the sewers. Do you know where your local sewage works is? Thought not.

So I don’t know what I’m urging you to do, because I looked at the petition on the Blog Action Day site and it was just asking the UN to do something they want to do anyway. And you couldn’t sign unless you had a US zipcode. I don’t really think that will help. But be thankful for your water. Pray for those without. Give to a charity that seeks to supply clean water. WaterAid comes to mind, or Tearfund. Oh, and wash your hands, cos today is also Global Handwashing Day.


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