The météo promised rain this week. Nothing new about that. They've been promising rain for weeks. But this time it felt different. Maybe because several days of rain were shown. Maybe because the little thunder clouds on the chart didn't slip away to nothing as the days went by. They stayed stubbornly in place. Maybe because we have friends coming to stay this week - a sure sign that the weather will break.
And there's the almost empty leaky water tank sitting there with its muddy puddle in the bottom. And if it's going to start raining again, surely now's the time to make it waterproof.
We found a large sheet of black plastic at a reasonable price in our local Gamm Vert. Tod said we ought to line the walls and floor first so that the plastic didn't tear on the concrete. We wandered round looking for something that would do and not break the bank and he noticed some trousers that might fit and I fretted about the black thunder clouds I could see piling up through the shop windows. We settled for big bags of hamster bedding for the floor and bubble wrap for the walls and didn't buy the trousers. Then, at home, we realised we could use the summer pool cover that we were about to throw out because its blue bubbles were dropping off and floating around in the swimming pool and clogging the filter.
The tank is just over three meters square and one point two meters deep. One point two meters is just about my chest height. So climbing down into the tank, I have to stoop and turn my head sideways. I feel like Alice in Wonderland when she eats the cake and grows so large her head hits the ceiling. We pump as much of the muddy puddle out as possible, but there's still some left. I drill holes in the concrete and fix up wooden battens to hold the black plastic and worry about electricity and water. The blue pool cover is stapled to the battens and Tod rakes the hamster bedding out over the floor - the tank almost looks cosy.
I try to unfold the eight by six meter black plastic sheeting on the cottage lawn as the thunder, wind and rain start in earnest. At this point there is no going back. We have to get the liner in situ before the rain starts collecting on the roof and running along the guttering and down the drain pipes and into the water tank. I fight with the black liner in the tank and the liner keeps winning. It's like trying to wrap a parcel, but from the inside. I'm on my knees crawling round in the hamster bedding. Water is now coming down the drain pipes and dripping into the tank. We put a bucket there to catch the flow. I finally staple the liner to the battens and beat a strategic retreat. The liner will hold over night. I'll finish tomorrow. As I walk back to the house, my trousers are soaked and clinging to my thighs - it's like putting on a wet cold swimming costume. I just want to be in the warm and dry.
The first time it's rained in weeks - the rain I've been praying for - and I'm wishing it would stop!