Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Zen & the art of water boiling

The other night my husband watched me pour boiling water from the jug into a large pot (as I do many times a day) and asked me whether it wouldn't be simpler just to boil the water in the pot.
"No" I replied, "because then I'd have to pay attention".

I've settled into a certain routine about water preparation and it has its own kind of weird logic. I mean, who has time to wait and watch while a large pot of water boils? For those of us in Shakeytown lucky enough to have running water in our houses, there is a 'boil water' notice in effect. With all the pipe breakages and system issues, the quality of our city's water supply cannot currently be guaranteed so all water for consumption must be boiled first.

First, the jug is filled & turned on, at which point I wander off and do something else.
Sometime afterwards, the jug is re-boiled and again, I go and do something else.
The next step is to pour the boiled water into the largest pot I own, which is sitting on top of the stove. After covering the pot to keep any bugs/floaties out, I refill the jug and repeat steps 1 & 2. When the pot is full and the water cool (some hours later), the water is decanted into a large 25 litre container from which we pour all our drinking water from. We also have to use this water when brushing our teeth... it's funny to be using campstyle methods in your own house, and hard to break the ingrained habit of using water from the tap.

Christchurch water is normally among the best in the world - beautifully clean water from ancient artesian wells beneath the city. No additives, no treatment needed before sending it up to our homes... but for the first time ever, our water is going to be chlorinated. Until all the repairs have been made, chlorine will be added to the city's water supplies to ensure public safety.

I can live with that... you have to be Zen about these things. Things we have taken for granted can change (and have changed) in an instant. The trick is figuring out what is worth fighting for and what you can do nothing about.

Tomorrow I am going to make another probably futile attempt to contact the earthquake team at my insurance company. This too is something I'm learning to be Zen about... I have decided to try this new approach because frustration, anger and tears have been getting me nowhere. In the last 3 weeks I have phoned many times, been disconnected on several occasions, and spoken to random branch staff who can only send a message on my behalf. I have also done what their pre-recorded greeting message suggests and sent them an email via their website. This picture was taken two weeks ago:
To which I can only respond...

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