We've been having problems with the water recently. Severn Trent had decided that it was necessary to clean out water main - and while no doubt it was something that had to be done, the fact that it meant long hours without mains water was a real pain.
Firstly, we had 2 nights with no water from 9 in the evening till 4 next morning. Why so early? No one goes to bed as early as 9 - and surely not many need to be up at 4. Why wouldn't 10 till 5 work as well? Anyway ST don't offer 'preferred time options' so we filled buckets, the bath (which leaked!), the kettle, cola bottles, a huge pan for boiling gammon joints and - last but not least - a flask so we had warm water for washing. Fortunately it was warm enough to survive without the heating - as obviously, water is needed for it.
The following week we had 2 matching days - no water from 9 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon. Now most people would probably be out at work but neither husband nor I am. We decided to take the line of least resistance and go out for the majority of both days but it still left me realising how much we take instantly available water for granted.
It was quite easy to schedule baths/showers/hairwashing around the cut-off times. Even quite easy - after fixing the leaky bath plug - to cope with flushing toilets; a bath full of water and a bucket for ladling and you can manage - though how anyone with small children did, I don't know.
But the trickiest bit turned out to be having no hot water at the turn of a tap. I never realised how often I rinsed my hands under running water till it was cut off! To put in the plug and fill the sink with hot water from the flask and cold water from a bottle was so fiddly by comparison - and not easy if you've got filthy hands from gardening or cooking.
At the end of each of these drain cleaning sessions, because of the chemicals used, it was necessary to run the water before drinking any of it. So for four days over the last fortnight, every household round here has run water for 20 minutes and it flowed straight down the drains. And I thought there was a water shortage?