Friday, 17 October 2008

In the trenches with Thames Water

We've known it’s going to happen for a while, but we’ve been in denial. And no, I’m not talking about Littleboy 2 hitting the terrible twos (although, all the evidence suggests that he has).

Every week over the past few months the ominous signs have come closer, encroaching onto our neighbouring streets. There were diggers, men in fluorescent jackets with clipboards and white vans. Finally, sinister chalk marks appeared on our pavement and we knew the day of reckoning was upon us.


Yes, Thames Water are digging up our road.


Anyone who lives in London will know what I’m talking about, as it is happening all over the capital. They are replacing London’s Victorian water mains with new pipes (These appear to be made of bright blue plastic; The Doctor says he is sceptical that they are going to last another hundred years.)

Now if you’d told me four years ago I’d be bothered about this, or indeed writing a blog about it, I would probably have laughed in your face. Back then, parking outside our house was not an issue as we hardly ever drove.


But today, this equals a huge disruption to our daily lives. The whole of our side of the street is now basically a trench; parking has been suspended and we can’t bring the car anywhere near the house. This makes the three day a week nursery run something of a challenge. Getting the two Littleboys in and out of the car along with their various bags, coats and the selected toys that have to come with us is tricky enough as it is, without the added fun of having to trek to the car along a narrow muddy corridor and negotiate crossing roads with them.


Our road is quite small, and naturally all the nearest parking spaces have been nabbed by people who never, ever have to move their cars, so finding a spot anywhere convenient is impossible. This situation is set to carry on for the next month – after which, the Men cheerfully informed me, they will dig up the other side of the road.


On the plus side, the gang of workmen employed to dig the trenches have provided some diversions. The Littleboys have spent many a happy hour staring out of the windows at the mechanical digger and love to say hello to the workmen and inspect the equipment (far more exciting than their own plastic tractor collection) as we go by.


Even I have had my entertainment. One morning, a jet of water shot up into the air about 20 feet high, directly outside our house. This was obviously not part of the plan. Two men were furiously scrabbling around in the muddy trench with their bare hands trying to put the lid back on the source of this fountain, and there was much shouting and swearing.


A little concerned that we were about to lose our water supply, I shot out there and enquired: “Er…everything OK?”

“Don’t you worry darling,” they said. “Thames Water are coming out to sort it.”

Well, that’s a relief then.


7 comments:

The Dotterel said...

Sounds like you've got the same kind of parking problems we have here. At least nobody's digging up our road - yet!

Expat mum said...

Don't worry, it'll be back on for Xmas.

Mom/Mum said...

Not fun, but hey at least the Littleboys are happy to watch a real life work force instead of Bob The Builder on TV eh?....

Iota said...

Big digging machines outside your window? Boy heaven...

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Are you getting the bum cleavage we got last year when they dug up our road. I used to walk past with my eyes closed.

nappy valley girl said...

Dottorel - parking in London is a horror story all of its own. I think we have been a bit spoilt here, as our road is fairly quiet, but recently it has become harder and harder to find a space near the house...

Expat Mum - I hope so. Actually, it hasn't gone off yet, but I am fully expecting it to happen just when the water is crucial eg at Littleboys' bath time.

Mom/Mum and Iota - yes, it does make them happy. (Maybe there should be a new kids' series - Todd the Trench Man?)

NMOO - no, I haven't been subjected to that, they usually seem to be wearing long yellow jackets. Not that I'd be looking, mind!

Iota said...

I don't like to blow my own trumpet, but... you're talking to the woman who had a boy toddler 10 years ago said to all her friends "Someone should really make a preschool tv series about a builder, with lots of diggers and cement mixers and rollers etc". A while later I saw a pilot programme of a show called "Bob the Builder", and said "Hey, that's exactly the kind of thing I meant. I bet it'll be really popular if they make a whole series". I believe they did.