Today the temperature was forecast to exceed 20°C over many parts of England.
This means it can’t be too long now before there’ll be a hosepipe ban introduced near you so here are some ideas for what to do with a soon-to-be-redundant hosepipe.
Make a musical instrument: Hosepipes of different lengths produce lovely notes that have been likened to those of a deeply troubled French horn. The most successful exponents of the instrument are the Baroque Nozzle Consort. Their latest CD features the charming 17th century air, When My Lady Walks Through the Dew (arr. Herbert Drench). Their most recent concert, in the rose gardens of Mottisfont Abbey, was sadly rained off.
Fun for pets: Over recent months, the hosepipe dump, on the M3 just before the Winchester turn-off, has grown into a mountain. Show up with your pet – make sure she is not overweight – and for £25 she can have the run of miles of coiled hose.
Sweet delights: If you have one of the old-fashioned black rubber ribbed hoses, Mrs Dawnay’s Traditional Liquorice Factory will send a truck to pick it up. They can’t pay cash for it, but will exchange for slightly damaged jelly beans – 150 beans (usually the green ones) per metre. Keep a short length of hose for use as a blowpipe to shoot jelly beans at the family. Tremendous fun at children’s parties or in wedding marquees.
Brighten up your snake: Many snake owners are disappointed because, although their pet may be deadly poisonous, it can still look drab. This is where reptile boob tubes come in. Paint a length of hose with brightly coloured contrasting stripes, insert your snake and, hey presto, one snug and fashionably dressed ophidian. It’s advisable to seek help from an expert when inserting the snake, as the rubber tubing can coil itself round you and give you a nasty squeeze.
Create a gourmet treat: A length of hose, stuffed and stewed, makes a delicious meal, somewhat like the German Sprincklerwurst or the French andouillette – though the French dish normally uses rotted bicycle tyre inner tubes. Stuff your hose with chopped shallots, bacon lardons, fresh pesto and flaked almonds, marinade overnight in balsamic vinegar and 71 crushed black peppercorns. Stew in red wine for two and a half weeks and serve on a bed of desiccated grass. (It’s better to use low calorie green plastic hose for this dish.)
Wheels of fire: This is a clever way to brighten up your garden with the old disused reel of your hosepipe. Attach fireworks and watch it roll round your parched lawn giving off colourful sparks and explosions. You can also collect a few of those rotating sprinkler attachments for use as small windmills. Make your own bonsai wind farm.
Leggings for flamingos: Thigh-length hoses are just the thing for today’s fashion-conscious flamingo. They seem delighted with the kinky boot effect and, in wildfowl reserves, as summer wears on they’ll be cheered up as they stand about in dried-up pools.
Beat the smoking ban: Take a 20-metre length of hose to the pub, lay it out so that it extends through the window, then exhale your Marlboro Lights through it without troubling other drinkers. Sadly, the Government will soon spot the health hazard and amend the legislation to protect bar staff from passive tripping.