Woman vs Hose – epilogue


Just in case any of you were in doubt as to Mother Nature’s sense of humour, I should tell you that eventually I got the hose working (with a friend monitoring the tap for floods), and after giving the garden it’s first proper soaking in weeks, about an hour later it started to rain… Literally the first time it has rained here in 2 months….

She’s got an evil sense of humour has mother nature.

Woman vs Hose

Once upon a time, Maya’s water butt ran dry, and she decided to buy a hose in an attempt to keep her tiny garden alive.

What follows is the devastating story of one woman’s struggle to defeat the most basic of garden technology.

First Maya went to Homebase, where they sold her a hose, but had run out of the adaptors required to fit it to an indoor bathroom mixer tap, because Maya does not have an outdoor tap.

Maya went back a few days later to get the adaptor, and was told by the man in Homebase that the whole of Oxford had sold out, as everyone suddenly needs obscure mixer tap connectors, and he himself had driven all over Oxford to find one just yesterday. He assured her that Screwfix, Homebase, B&Q and all other hardware stores within a 10-mile radius had sold out of this one very specific piece of plumbing equipment. The last tap connector in Oxford was in fact in his car,as he was going to return it, would Maya like to purchase it?

Maya purchased it, and felt extremely weird buying obscure hard-to-find tap hardware from the boot of a man’s car in the Homebase car park on a Saturday morning.

Maya then attempted to connect up the hose and adaptor to the bathroom sink. The connector did not function as advertised, despite trying all of the rubber washers provided, and Maya and her bathroom got very, very wet. The garden however stayed bone dry during this exercise.

Then Maya’s colleague lent her an alternative mixer-tap-connector-type fitting, which did fit her tap and did not spray water all over the house. Success! Sadly the joy was extremely short-lived as the hose did not fit into the new connector, and the garden remained unwatered for several more days.

Maya said some rude words and wished she had trained as a water and sanitation engineer.

Then Maya ordered a new connector online from a very obscure tap website, and a week later when it arrived, she took all of the parts to a different local hardware store to request help, as the hose had not come with any kind of instruction manual.

Maya felt extremely stupid explaining to the man in the shop that she needed a manual to operate a garden hose.

The man in the new shop explained patiently that Maya had somehow bought a hose that was a “non-standard gauge” also known as “not wide enough” and that was why it didn’t fit the connectors.
The man sold Maya a new hose, that was the correct gauge and width, and patiently showed her how to connect the various parts of the hose together.

Maya then hauled all of the pieces back to her house to start again.

Maya discovered that the spray nozzle on the hose needs to be pressed firmly down in order for the water to come out, otherwise the pressure of water backs up and explodes all over her bathroom. Maya realised she cannot turn the tap on and run faster than the rate of water back out to the garden to press the handle before the tap explodes in the bathroom. Maya tried multiple options for wedging the handle closed, or removing the handle and re-inserting it once the water is flowing, all of which resulted in a flood in the bathroom. She also could not hold the hose down inside the bathroom thus running through the living room with the hose on, spraying everything in her wake.

Maya has realised that watering the garden requires a professional engineer and at least 3 people to monitor the different components in case of disaster.

Maya is also now sure that when she finally gets the water flowing in the correct direction, out of the hose, all of her plants will be dead and a hosepipe ban will be announced.

Maya hates garden hoses and tap connectors with a fiery rage that is not normal.

The weird and wonderful mind of Maya

Here’s a little insight into how my incredibly odd brain works:

Earlier today I was looking around schools, and suddenly noticed my finger was bleeding. I’d obviously caught it on something without noticing, grazing my knuckle, and hadn’t noticed, and now I was bleeding lightly while chatting to the school administrator. It was all very minor so I continued on, going about my day, without giving it much thought. I frequently bash myself, walk into things, catch my fingers, and often have random small cuts and bruises that appear here and there on my body.

But then later in the afternoon, I got back from the shops, unloaded all my shopping, popped to the neighbours to collect a parcel, and suddenly noticed a sharp pain in my foot.

It was a stinging sort of pain, like a nettle, and I was shocked to discover a large blueish lump appearing on the top of my foot, about the size of my thumb. I couldn’t remember bashing it on anything, and it had clearly just happened, as the lump was very sore and getting noticeably larger.

Rather than assume that I’d just bashed it and not noticed, as I frequently do, and in spite of the fact I had literally done the same thing earlier in the day with my finger, I immediately assumed that a tropical spider had crawled out of my shopping and bitten me.

That’s how insane my mind is.

There was no other logical explanation – I’d done nothing except unload some shopping bags, and suddenly there was a very painful, stinging lump on my foot, with no other possible explanation. I’ve read about it happening every once in a while, where some dangerous spider crawls out of your fruit and bites you.

I was literally thinking through my plan (in case you’re interested, the plan was to find my phone, get ready to dial 999 if my foot turned blue or my throat closed up or something).

Then after poking my weird swollen lump for a bit, I decided it must be a bruise, I’d clearly knocked it hard against something and somehow not noticed, and so I ignored it and carried on with my day. The swelling went down and left me with a faint purpley bruise and a mildly sore foot for the rest of the day, which remains an intriguing mystery.

Thought you’d all like to know that these are the things that go on inside my head on a fairly regular basis. Massive paranoia and jumping to extreme conclusions about unexplained minor occurrences.

Here is the weird swollen blue lump when I first noticed it, and assumed it was a radioactive spider bite:

And here is the bruise that appeared a bit later in the day:

I’m still waiting for my superpowers to kick in….

The daily struggles of a non-technophile

I’m trying it hard to find a suitable word to describe myself these days. In the past I have considered myself a luddite, or techno-phobe, but in fact I have realised I embrace quite a lot of technology and systems, and therefore am quite willing to engage with lots of new things, (and have accidentally developed 8 or 9 e-learning courses and learning platforms) however I wouldn’t say that I love technology, and I’m often quite overwhelmed and intimidated by complex technology.

So I don’t know what word best describes me – feel free to suggest some new words I could try out!

This brings me to my latest problems….

Last year when my boiler died, I bought a Nest, which is a smart thermostat type of device. In theory, they will “learn” your habits, predict your heating needs, and save you money and energy, saving the planet and reducing your bills, etcetera.

Except after nearly a year of using it, I am forced to concede that this is utter bullshit.

Continue reading

“Look at my bad knee” – A story by Maya

Chapter 1 – The Crunchy Sound

Once upon a time, Maya’s knees started to make a funny noise.

It was a crackly, crunchy sort of a noise, like the sound of scrunching up paper or tin foil, or crushing cornflakes up in your hand, and it happened every time she went up stairs.

Maya was worried about the strange noises, so she went to see The Physio, who told her she had under-developed glute and thigh muscles which were causing the problems in her knees, and that her knees had started to twist inwards in a way that could be described as “not good”.

Maya “So you’re saying I have a lazy bum?”

Physio “Well, yes, basically. Here are some exercises you need to do to strengthen your bum.” Continue reading

Highlights from the last few weeks

Well, as I know a few of my faithful blog readers are not on facebook, here are some of the highlights of my life, in the form of my facebook posts, for the last couple of months, purely for your amusement.

17th November 2016

So, while I’ve been in Kenya, my boiler broke down, which was really complicated to get fixed remotely from here, and although it is finally fixed now, it is going to cost me a fairly big chunk of change.
This morning my lodger informs me that the washing machine is leaking and has flooded the kitchen. No idea yet if it’s fixable or requires a whole new washing machine.
Apparently everything is broken.
I blame Trump.

21st November 2016

For all my humanitarian peeps, and any others who are interested, here is a really interesting piece on the future of USAID under a Trump administration.

“Women and girls may have the most to lose. From the World Bank to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the SDGs to the new UN Secretary General, the economists, technologists, health advocates, educators, humanitarians, rights activists, and data junkies are all aligned and making the argument that investment in women and girls might be the best dollar spent…. Vice-President Elect Mike Pence, a radical social conservative, may be influential in rolling back US policy and investments in support of women and girls.”

22nd November 2016

A memory that popped up from 2 years ago:

“Aah, lush evening at the spa with my mum and my sister. I’m proud to be from the kind of family that can start a water fight in the sauna of tranquility… 😀” Continue reading

It’s good (to be back home again)

Well, I have officially re-entered my life, and as usual there is much to catch up on!

Work has been busy as usual, and I’m happy to announce they’ve extended my contract for another year, so I must be doing something right! Yay for job security! (ish).

I now have an EXTREMELY sexy new washing machine, that plays tunes when it’s done, and weighs your clothes to calculate how much water to use, and many other cool and groovy things. There was a slight snafu when I came to install it however….

You see, the thing is, there is always a sequence of events. Idiotic things rarely happen in a vacuum. Continue reading

Things that have tried to kill me…

As many of you know, I have long maintained that the machines are out to get me…

However, it occurred to me after a conversation with my brother last year, that a number of other things in the natural world have also attempted to kill me, or at the very least, placed me in the “oh my god, that was close, I could have died” category.

So, I decided to list all of my near-misses and brushes with death, (crocodiles, killer bees, cars, ceiling fans, etc) to see who the real evil mastermind is – technology, nature, or my own stupidity (try not to jump to conclusions people, let’s see this through).

Working backwards from the beginning therefore… Continue reading

Things I love about Kurdistan

Ever since my Reasons why I love the Philippines post went ever-so-slightly viral earlier this year, I thought I ought to try something similar in the next country I visit.

So here are the things I love about Kurdistan so far. You may notice a fairly heavy bias towards comedy food items…

I’ll be adding to this list as I go along.

Continue reading