Monday, 28 January 2013

If you stand quietly ...

... in the cottage hallway, you can hear the sound of trickling water.

And it's coming, not from the downstairs bathroom as you might suppose but quite the opposite direction, from the hall cupboard by the front door where the fuse board lives.

Open the hall cupboard door and peer into the back left-hand corner and in the gloom you will see the glitter of a tiny waterfall pouring out of the open mouth of the "gaine", which carries the electricity cable all the way underground from the white electricity meter alongside the road that you can see from three fields away, down our steep drive, beneath the stone walls of the cottage and up into the floor to ceiling fuse cupboard, beautifully made by Monsieur "Fred".

I had to look up gaine - it means conduit or ductingI only know French building terms, having only restored a French house, not an English one.

The water pouring out of the gaine leaves the tiles on the floor of the cupboard quite dry, as it happily finds its way back into the mud under the cottage wall.  Our Polish builders were disgusted with the old French method of building walls straight onto bare earth, but in this instance it seems an advantage.

Our tiny cupboard waterfall has only occurred once before when, like now, the fields around were totally saturated.  Our local bio shop has a very attractive "tranquillity" indoor waterfall for a mere hundred-odd euros.  We get ours for free.  Although I'm not sure showing Tod last night heightened his tranquillity.

We're due several days without rain, so hopefully the water table will drop and the sound of trickling water in the hallway will cease.


  1. I bet it sounds very soothing, Sue, though the thought of running water in electricity cable ducting does give me pause for thought..... :-)

  2. Hi Perpetua, I know what you mean, but I reconcile myself with the fact that the outer ducting is always used and doesn't have sealed ends and hopefully the live bits are always far enough out the way for it not to matter. :)

  3. Fingers/Wires Crossed?

  4. Water and do you stay so Zen about it!

  5. Hi Helen :) Seems to be ok. When it happened last time the house was being restored and the project manager came and had a look. He was incredibly reassuring and I think the Zen comes from him. :)

  6. We have a soundless version of your indoor waterfall - every time there's an intense cloudburst, water comes up through the floor in the small sitting-room (which is about a foot below ground level). At first, it was alarming, then it got downgraded to disconcerting, and now it's merely a fact of life...and a matter either of rolling back the rug if we're around and awake whenever a cloudburst happens, or else waiting philosophically for it to dry out if we haven't been. As you say, it's all a question of adopting the right (or at least relevant) attitude...

  7. Hello Pomiane, yes, it goes with the territory doesn't it, of how and where we choose to live. :)