Saturday, June 18, 2011

Water flowing underground

It was the Talking Heads, wasn't it?

On Thursday we had to go to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton for Clare to meet with the radiotherapy doctor and plan her schedule: I have been to more upbeat meetings.

Yesterday, Clare went out for a walk. I, meanwhile, was waiting for the inspector from Bristol Water to come round as we had discovered, from our water meter in the road outside, that we have a leak somewhere in the garden.

Just before lunch Clare returns and is in quite a lot of abdominal pain. At half past one I've called the doctor out. She duly arrives about an hour later at which point there are odd "Doctor Who"-like bleeps and squeaking noises coming from just outside the house (the doctor gives me an odd glance as she leaves). The water man is tracing the pipes with a metal detector.

Clare has an infection acquired, the doctor believes, at the hospital. Meanwhile, the inspector has located the leak somewhere beneath the concrete path running alongside the house. 'Maybe two or three feet down, at the junction with the internal pipework. Plumbers used to be notorious for getting that connection wrong leading to corrosion.'

I didn't have time to get Clare's prescription: too busy calling home insurance and various contractors to get quotes. The water man rubbed his chin judiciously and estimated that in excess of £1,000 a year was escaping under our garden. I believe we will get it back.

The BBC news last night was in a full flood of moral indignation over a Conservative MP who had proposed that the laws of supply and demand might apply to people with mental deficiencies when it came to getting a job. (He thought they should price themselves at below the minimum wage to give themselves a comparative advantage when applying for the simple jobs which they were capable of doing).

It's not so much that there aren't arguments (albeit not especially good ones) against his position: it's the intolerable smugness and self-righteousness of the 'do-gooders' which irritates. Patronising smiles, economic illiteracy and the spending of other people's money: an inseparable trinity.