Relocating Fortress Mamea to a rural location means a little bit of doing without. Cellphone reception is spotty — upon departing the property, cellphones tend to trill with backlogged txts and messages. Our nearest neighbour is over a hundred yards away (in Auckland, our neighbour’s garage was five yards away). And our water comes from… a water tank on the property.
Yep, when it comes to water, we’re off the grid. Rain water is collected and stored in a large concrete tank, with the idea of collecting it over a wet Northland winter, and stretching it out over the drier months. Long, hot showers are being enjoyed while it’s raining outside; come summer, navy showers will be de rigeur. Water closet discipline is observed as a matter of course.
Between the living quarters and the water tank is a pump that, y’know, gets water from the tank to the tap or shower head.
I don’t know if I’ve owned up to this before but The Goddess wears the pants in our relationship: She’s DIY, green-thumbed, and an all-round nurturer; for my part, I require supervision when using power tools, am the destroyer of all pre-approved greenery, and love to be nurtured. So when the property was acquired and its various rural peculiarities noted, one of my fears was having something essential and mechanical break down.
Something like the water pump, which stopped working on the first month anniversary of moving in.
THE GODDESS stands over the reticent B1 PUMP, a wrench in hand.
... Oh dear.
Our WRITER, standing nearby, makes an involuntary noise, not unlike a whimper.
THE GODDESS (CONT’D)
Do you want to move back to Auckland?
This is just a... first act obstacle in an Alistair Maclean book.
That’s my boy.
Who you calling ‘boy’?