Well, the good news is that I’ve got through the first day on five litres of my precious daily ration, although I was out for supper, ‘saving’ some of my budget, and I still had last night’s washing-up water ‘in stock’ – which became this morning’s toilet flush. (You really don’t want to know the details!)
Actually, that’s one of the things that I’ve noticed about today. Lacking water forces me to face some very basic human issues – beginning with how to wash my hands without running water.
That simple task is more awkward than you might think. Liquid soap certainly helps and finishing off with hand-sanitising gel ensures I’m not passing on germs to others, but a small bowl of water isn’t much use for swilling off a large quantity of soap. (Needless to say the soapy water gets ‘recycled’ into the toilet flush bucket).
Washing up is also complicated. I’ve evolved a method of tackling each item with a scourer laced with detergent in an empty bowl, then swilling everything with warm water from a jug as I lift it out to drain. About a litre of water seems enough to wash up a meal for one – and, of course, that water also ends up in the flush bucket.
However, I got my first beauty tip in many a year from a parishioner when I was lamenting the prospect of not washing my hair so often: add talcum powder and then brush it out to freshen up the thatch. It seems to work.
Other high points:
- two cuppas en route when collecting my water, as parishioners saw me go past (which did make it a rather slow process – 90 minutes to walk two miles!);
- the need to adjust the target on my Justgiving page, having just exceeded the modest £500 I set myself; Sponsor me here >>
- seeing my 2 5-litre water bottles brought up in the Offertory procession with the bread and wine (and the CAFOD ‘Water Drop’ action cards) at evening Mass, after which a parishioner in the water industry put up a display of water-saving devices for the home.
So still alive and in good spirits after day one.
About the author: Father Rob Esdaile is parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, Thames Ditton, Surrey.
He’s set himself the challenge of living on ten litres of water a day for a week (March 10-16). It’s both a Lenten discipline and a way of supporting CAFOD’s Thirst for change campaign.