Water. It was wet. It came from the sky ...

Trevor Newton, the chief executive of Yorkshire Water, has advised his drought-hit customers to do as he does and skip baths and showers. What will he think of next? Let's leap forward nine months and see what Mr Newton and his team have come up with

Memo to all staff 21 June 1996

From Trevor Newton

As most of you will know, today marks a very special anniversary for Christine and me. It is now exactly a year since we last bathed or showered. In that time we have discovered a number of other exciting ways to cut back on water usage in Yorkshire and it is these that I want to share with you.

1. Beer. We now boil all our food in this valuable local resource. It also makes a splendid car windscreen wash and hair shampoo - though I should point out that the "number two" close-cropped haircuts that Christine and I adopted in the spring have virtually eliminated the need for frequent shampooing.

2. Lavatories. Frequent flushing wastes gallons. By cutting fibre out of our diet - fruit, vegetables, muesli - we've managed to keep our visits to three a week with a minimum of side-effects. When visiting less drought- hit regions, however, we do take the chance to treat ourselves in hotels and restaurants.

3. Washing-up. Nomads and desert adventurers have always used sand to clean their plates. We now keep a sack of it from Scarborough beach in the kitchen, pop the theme from Lawrence of Arabia on the record player and have everything spick and span in a matter of three or four hours.

4. Lawns. Painful as this will be, I think we must accept that grassy lawns now qualify as "sites of special scientific interest". My own has now gone "back to basics", but the selection of boulders and cacti is much loved by friends and family and may well be entered for this year's Best Kept Garden award.

Lawn bowls as a sport has clearly altered somewhat. I would like, therefore, to invite you all to enter this summer's Yorkshire Water Petanque Championships, for which the prize is a week in a French spa town - accommodation and unlimited baths included.

5. Washing. Last year a scientist confirmed that washing with a damp sponge is quite satisfactory, as long as attention is paid to the armpits, feet and crotch areas. I'm happy to announce that as of this week I've eliminated the sponge. I now find that a few vigorous strokes with a pumice stone are perfectly adequate.

6. Drinking water. Exciting news. The Scots laughed at us, but the French came up trumps. The Evian pipeline has now reached Calais and we expect to be "on-line", mineral water-wise, by Christmas!

We are all looking for innovative ways to cut back on usage and make the company money. Thus I hope to have more details soon of the Yorkshire Water Diet. We're all of us made up of 80 per cent water: stop drinking it and the pounds fall off.

PS: I've an anonymous note that says "Remember what Sarah Miles used to drink." Will anyone who can shed any light please see me?

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