WE LIVE IN A HOUSE that was plumbed by men masquerading as plumbers. Sure, a real plumber was around for the big things but the little things didn't get done right because anybody who could spell "plumber" got a day job from the building site manager. Consequently, our main water supply comes into the house along a trench less than four inches deep. After three consecutive days of minus three weather, the trench and the main water pipe freezes and we're out of water until it thaws. According to Met Eireann, that means at least an entire week of deep frozen conditions. We're entering our second day without a fresh water supply and dealing with it. We have several 10 litre containers of Tipperary water and two 25 gallon jerry cans that the neighbours fill for our toilets and dish washing. We're not alone with our frozen pipes. Several friends on Twitter have reported much the same problem. We expect to have a hot bath in the tub on the 10th of December to celebrate the restoration of normal service. In the meantime, we're drawing water wherever we stop for coffee and enjoying the new landing techniques shown by birds that drop in for a peck at old bread on the patio. And we're setting aside some springtime DIY time to build a foot-high mound of crushed stone on top of the run of the water supply, hoping that added gravel insulation will prevent the water from freezing in the main supply pipe.
Deborah McMenamy -- "Frozen Oil and the Little Snowwoman" on November 29, 2010.