Tuesday’s Catch Up

We had a mixed-weather-kind-of- day yesterday with heavy showers interspersed with sunny intervals, which got longer, and the blustery wind calmed down. As usual, our barometer, Kitcat was the first to note the change by demanding to go out in the garden where she lay in the sunshine, shrugging off suggestions that she come in when there was a flurry of rain; she was right, it was only a passing shower.

Mel, our Mr Fixit, turned up, and between us we managed to repair the outside water-supply pipe; it got split by winter frost, despite my turning off the mains supply. I later discovered I’d failed to drain the short length of piping between the tap and the supply, so when, come the spring, we turned on the water again, it sprayed through the lagging, revealing the split along the section of pipe leading from the exit elbow on the wall to the tap.

It proved challenging because the copper piping had become distorted, and the new nut, a standard fitting, would not fit on the fixed length of piping; I suddenly remembered an old trick about expansion and contraction, so heated the new nut and brass washer in a mug of boiling water, popped it in the microwave for a minute; hey presto, it worked, the nut had expanded just enough to get it over the pipe, and Mel was able to finish the job. As he left, he suggested that if he had another plumbing job, he might enlist my help.

It proves of course, that the appliance of a little science can be very helpful; certainly my lessons in physics, chemistry, biology and maths, have proved useful on many occasions throughout my seventy plus years. Remembering that ‘the moment of a force is its turning effect’ has been instrumental in saving me from toppling off ladders and decorating platforms; not to mention the placing of harnesses in the right place when pruning trees from a height. Just knowing that point of overbalance makes a difference.

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