I was on the phone with my mother this morning (well, I say morning. it was actually afternoon), and there was no water at the ranch. Nothing, she said, coming from the taps. This creates all sorts of problems. No showers. No flushing. No hand-washing. Those things you take utterly for granted. "I'm making tea," she said, sounding wistful. "How?" I wondered. "Oh--we have some bottled water." I started to fret that they'd use it all up at once.

So we were chatting about the woes of water shortage ("we walked from one end of the parcel to the other looking for the problem!"), when all quite suddenly, I heard a cry go up: "oooh! water's coming! water's coming!" If hundred dollar bills started falling from trees, and rivers started running diamonds, I don't think you'd hear half the excitement that was put into those words.