And so the Great Roof Saga of 2014 continues. You remember, don't you, all the frustration and angst at the beginning of the year when water came uninvited into the house? Not torrents, of course. Not floods. We weren't nearly as badly affected as a lot of folks were during that hideously wet time 'twixt Christmas and Spring.
But it was a stressful time mostly because we had big trouble actually getting a roofer to come and help us fix the problem. We even tried a bit of desperate DIY which held the leak at bay for a couple of weeks. We called roofers; they either ignored the calls completely, or said they would come out and take a look and then failed to turn up. And the two who did actually come out failed to return to put right their work when the leaks persisted.
But eventually the leaks were sorted. Andy and I spent anxious weeks examining the wall and ceiling every time it rained, but eventually our confidence grew - it seemed the Problem Was Solved.
Until it rained again, very hard and for a long time about three weeks ago. Whilst all was well in the hallway, it was a very different kettle of enormous damp patch that appeared, once again and bigger than ever, in the front bedroom.
I called the roofer who did the roof repair above the bedroom window. 'Yes,' said he. 'I'll come and lift some tiles and see what's going on. Will need scaffolding though.' 'Okay,' said I.
Have we heard from him in the last two weeks? Ha! Have we hell. Abandoned by Roofer Number 7.
So on Monday morning, with the seasons changing and us not wanting to spend the coming months staring gloomily at damp patches spreading their stain-ridden joy across the homestead, I was on the case to get it sorted. I was on the search for Roofer Number 8.
And today, less than two days later, the house is smothered in scaffolding and the roofer who responded to our call has been here with his gang of chaps all day, lifting tiles, replacing battening (I think that is what it is called) and generally swarming around all over the shop. I am glad I have been at work all day because in the short time I was home while they were still here the noise was HIDEOUS! But it sounded like reassuring and efficient noise.
They return tomorrow. They are returning for around a week. The guttering has been declared at point of crumble, some rafters at the front of the house are looking damp and rotten. The roofer is insisting I go up the scaffolding to see for myself - he doesn't want me to take his word that there is a problem. The tiles themselves have been declared sound, so will be reused to save on cost. The felt is all perished so will be completely replaced. The back chimney, which serves no purpose and is looking decidely wobbly is going to be removed and capped off so it doesn't suddenly decide to collapse on, and concuss, a passing chicken. The shingle on the flat roof is being replaced where it should have been by roofer 6 but wasn't.
I am not going to tell you how much all this is costing because it makes my eyes smart just thinking about it. Suffice to say that for my birthday I am having a part share in a bit of scaffolding, and Christmas has been cancelled. Ouch!
...in the spirit of 'Positive Thinking' (which is a platitude I hate second only to 'Learning Curve') I am glad the house will be water-tight for Winter and that these problems have been found now rather than when the roof collapses and wrecks everything inside the house...
...that the roofer guarantees his work for 20 years...
...that the roofer is able to do the job NOW, whilst the sun is shining and the weather is generally conducive to working on a roof...
...that we actually have a house and a roof and the means to pay for these things to be repaired and maintained when there are billions of people in the world who have nothing near as lovely as our little house to keep them warm and dry and secure...
...because when it comes down to it, it's just a thing, isn't it? We are still happy and healthy. We still have out talents and skills. Our sense of humour. Our friends and family. Bake Off is on the telly tonight. My copy of 'Sew' magazine arrived today and is waiting to be read. Kayleigh was round this afternoon and I taught her how to crack cobnuts from our tree with the nut crackers. And we had an icecream on the way home from ballet (but sshhhh... don't tell anyone!).
The roof was sick and is being made well.