Ok so there was not an actual battle of kings versus hot water heaters. However there was a battle of the kings, and M and I did battle our hot water heater, which put up a surprisingly good fight.
A few weeks ago I went into our little storage closet to get the old vacuum cleaner that had been left here by the previous owners. I was retrieving the vacuum cleaner in order to take it down to the city dump because the vacuum cleaner was no longer functioning. The little storage closet is also where the hot water heater lurks, plotting nasty deeds. In the process of getting the vacuum out of the closet, I noticed that the floor beneath the vacuum was wet. And now everyone reading this can sense the impending doom. Fear not dear reader! We dried up the floor and searched for the source of the leak. A steady drip was quickly found and contained with a handy bucket.
After some sleepless nights for M, in which she was up at all hours checking to make sure the leak wasn’t getting worse, a plumber finally arrived to fix the problem. A recommendation from saviors Pierre and Janet led us to Zermatten plumbers, who came and stopped the leak. Or so it appeared…
After a couple of nights filled with actual sleep, our electricity went out about 2 am. Somehow M got the electricity going again after fiddling with the circuit breakers. Accountant extraordinaire, master plumber and now certified electrician. There is no end to M’s talents. This fix lasted about a day until the same thing happened again the next night. This time, it was master electrician Chris who saved the day and got the electrons flowing once more. Those electrons flowed until the next morning.
“Wait a minute, how did we get on to the topic of circuit breakers?” some of you readers are asking. “I thought you were writing about the hot water heater!” others of you are pointing out. Little did we know the deviousness of the hot water heater. At this point, the hot water heater appeared to be behaving itself. As it turned out, the hot water heater was doing an excellent job of disguising it’s true scheme.
When the electricity kept going off because of the circuit breaker, I played around with the circuit breaker box until I figured out that the hot water heater circuit was causing all the other breakers to be thrown off. I called Pierre who came up and decided that we should unscrew the electrical panel on the hot water heater in order to see what was happening. A leak is what was happening – from somewhere in the hot water heater down through the electrical wiring. The leak caused the circuit breaker to shut everything off whenever the hot water heater felt it was most inconvenient.
The plumbers came again and after we heard them use the words, “merde” and “putain” a few times, the plumbers decided we needed a new hot water heater. (I’ll leave you to figure out the meaning of those french curse words, this is a family program after all!) A new hot water heater was eventually installed and all was right with the world. Until a different leak started from our new hot water heater. On instruction from the old hot water heater no doubt.
It turned out that one of our pipes is particularly small and did not properly fit the new hot water heater. The plumbers came again and patched up the new leak, and as of this writing, there are no more leaks. We hope that continues for another 25 years or so.
Now, on to battling kings! The battle of the kings, or possibly queens, is a head butting battle of bulls and/or cows that happens in various places around Europe. I do not know the history of this event, nor do I know the rules. The reason I mentioned the possibility of queens is that there are female cows over here in Europe with horns, so you can see where the confusion might arise. I will use the word “cow” as a catchall term henceforth. What happens though is as follows. There is a large ring where usually about 6 cows are brought in at the same time, two by two. An announcer calls out the numbers which are painted on the sides of the cows. Those two cows then proceed to battle each other by butting their heads and pushing one another around the ring. When one cow had shoved the other cow hard enough to make it turn around, the match was over and the hardest shoving cow was deemed the winner.
It appeared as though there were about 100 or more cows in Le Tour for the battle. We think it was a winner moves on to the next round sort of battle, and we didn’t have all day to watch so we do not know who won. The event was quite popular however, as there were at least 1,000 people in attendance. Oddly enough, they even played American country music during the times when the cows were not battling.
Following are some links to short videos taken during the event. One video shows the cows being led to the arena. Right down our street no less! A different video shows the cows doing battle. The final link shows what happens when the cows decide the battle should continue after the contest was over.
Obviously, things have gotten a little crazy around here in Le Tour! We have had some adventures since those mentioned in this blog that I will hopefully write about soon.
Go out and be consistent!