It has been a great day for roofs. Down at the bothy, the shy and retiring Sandy has been beavering away on the slates; the first sighting of this self-effacing migrant for some days. Meanwhile, up here at the Big House, the anything but shy and retiring Keith the Plumber and his erstwhile silent apprentice (who, by the way, is silent no more, he is coming out of his shell, and moreover, is currently sporting a dashing if just slightly Seventies set of blonde highlights. It’ll be a mullet next if we don’t all watch out) — Keith and Steve, that is to say, were giving their attention to the gutters. Oh, the gutters. ‘Hanging gardens of bloody Babylon’, said Keith at one point, coming groundside for a roll-up. Apart from tenacious and undesired vegetation, the major horror of the gutters turned out to be Geordie craftsmanship, viz., the lime mortar along the roofridge which the appalling Kevin had made a complete bog of because he didn’t know how to mix it — during the course of the last couple of winters (the gutters weren’t done last year because nobody had the energy to organise it) virtually all of it came off piecemeal, slid down the roof and ended up in the gutter, where it blocked it. There was also one of Miss Best Friend’s dog-toys, a whanger, which the Professor let go of at the wrong moment; it hit the roof about half way up, and bounced down till it, inevitably, ended in the gutter rather than bouncing clear. We also had an explanation for the mysterious damp patch in the Professor’s study. A slate, some while back, worked its way loose. The solution — to the slate problem, you understand — was to support it with silicone foam. The fact that this, by definition, also blocked the gutter hadn’t evidently connected up. There were also dead mice; where did they come from?? With every post from World of Roofs, we got more and more depressed, but at least, it is possible now to say that everything up there which shouldn’t have been up there, now isn’t.