Thursday, 25 February 2010


The Water God apparently joined The Dark Side, and everything is going to hell.

Consider: The eastern half of America is buried under tons of snow, with more on the way. Parts of England are flooded. Officials in Portugal closed a section of the Camino there because rising water made it impassible. South of here, the Guadalquivir River has busted its banks and flooded a large swath of Spain.

In Torremolinos, where parts of Paddy´s family lives, it´s rained continually since Christmas. Two days ago the kitchen ceiling fell down on top of Jo, the matriarch. She´s OK, but her house is waterlogged. Who will pay for the repairs?

Up here in Palencia, the rain keeps coming. Houses here are built of mud brick clad in concrete, with little or no foundations. The ground is saturated, so the rain is leaching up into the walls and out the concrete facing. You know what happens when dried mud gets wet enough?
Abandoned buildings are falling down. A wall collapsed at the new San Bruno albergue project. Rain is coming through the roof over there. Poor buggers are replacing the roof in mid-February. The architect is not returning their calls. The contractor is threatening to shut down the job. Tomorrow both Daniel and Bruno are fleeing eastward, taking a much-needed break from the deluge.  

At our house the rain is coming through the barn roof. It is leaking somehow into the ceiling of the little bathroom... which may soon do what Jo´s kitchen ceiling did.

It´s not just the rain. Our diesel boiler, repaired at vast expense just a month ago, is back to shutting itself off again. The repairman is not taking our calls.

Two days ago the door on the washing machine jammed shut. It´s still jammed shut. The appliance repair people keep taking down our name and numbers, but no one ever calls back or shows up to fix it. They must know there´s a wet rug and a couple of towels mouldering away in there, waiting for them to open that door.
The faucet in the little kitchen blew out a week ago and flooded the place yet again. I shut down the whole thing at the main. I called Leandro the Plumber. He said he´d be here today, but there was no sign of him.

The Hole of Mysteries is opening up again out back.

This morning we made another round of calls. We took the dogs out for a walk in the mud. The rain started up again, so I went to bed. I missed lunch. I slept through the afternoon and into the evening. Nobody came. Somehow I knew they wouldn´t come.
But we do have running water still. If you turn on the water heater and make sure it stays running for a few minutes, you can get a quick hot shower.
Everyone is reasonably healthy. I got the taxes done and sent in. The first of the seedlings I started last week are showing signs of germination. I can hear the wind howling in the treetops outside, but I don´t feel it. It´s not penetrating the walls, not yet. Too much water there already! And stalwart souls keep on walking down the camino. Today I saw one pilgrim walking with three donkeys following along behind -- the mom donk and two babies. 
They plod along through the downpour. They do not fret. Which is what we must do, seeing as The Water God is not taking any calls these days.


Libby said...

In the words of a wise ol' owl, "Don't worry, Piglet, a rescue is being thought of."

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

So, have you all started building your Ark yet?

Anonymous said...

You need Gringo Power.

A tarp over the roof will keep the bathroom ceiling from coming down. Keep the fires burning, and dry the house from the inside out. We'll look into gutters when I arrive.


The Solitary Walker said...

Don't I know it! Galicia is awash. Has rained solidly for 4 days and nights. Am putting the last stage of my Camino from A Gudina to Santiago on hold as parts of the Way are challenging to say the least.

Gary White said...

Well, all that water that is melting at the poles has to go somewhere. Now we are beginning to see where.

claire said...

I have my Caribbean Sun God here to go and visit you in Palencia... Hang in there... Hopefully, the ol' owl is right...
Take care, all of you!

Anonymous said...

A pedestrian sort of thought: If your washer was unbalanced (say froma couple of towels and a rug), the catch on the lid that keeps it from popping open during the spin cycle may be jammed. If all else fails, you could probably break it (it's usually just s little j-shaped thingy. Plus, you couldn't fasten the lid during the next rinse cycle and everything might just fly out)open with a small crowbar (doesn't everyone have one?), or you could get sneaky and tip the washer, maybe tip it and tap on the area near the fastener. Remember this advice is worth what you paid for it. said...

A post-script: The repairmen finally showed up and put things right. A new handle for the washing-machine door (it´s a front-loader, btw) was 66 Euro. A new screw-feed and pressure regulator for the furnace was 105 Euro.
Wish someone around here knew something about solar hot water...because the sun came out today, too!

Anonymous said...

Roofs cultivate leaks years before the roof requests replacing. Roof repair cost usually these leakages are caused by localized destruction, such as cracked or missing shingles or shakes, or on a roof, a blistered or cracked area. The hardest part to repairing this kind of damage is locating it.