Fiddlers on the Roofs

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.

4 Responses to “Fiddlers on the Roofs”

  1. carol Says:

    I can’t, living in a basement, compete with rooftop fun, but theraputic refurbishing of the burrow has so far included getting the bathroom fan mended and acquiring a fetching new shower cortain- see how long it takes the relevant flatmate to crud THIS one up with slicks of soap and henna. The dear Japanese friend is arriving for her annual visit at the weekend, and has accepted my proposed Sunday lunch jetlag cure offer- so further domestic purging to come. And a midnight -01 Harry Potter outing tomorrow, of course.

  2. Jane Says:

    Given what else has been going on, I am delighted to hear that you are due a bout of that v. peculiar exercise of cultural translation which is explaining to a Japanese why English humour is supposed to be funny … given that your pal has in the past been known to hold still for Joe Orton, I do hope a good time will be had by all.

  3. carol Says:

    Thanks - looking over the west end listings for the shows she’s likely to want to be seeing over the next month, I think I can get out of having to explain ‘Spamalot’ (been once, going again with little cousins so I thionk I can with honour duck out of a third visit). ‘Lord of the Rings the Musical’ might be a tricky bugger to elucidate; there seems to be a higher than average availability of Tennesee Williams at the moment (NOT in the mood for repressed sultry passions right now), and even ‘Gaslight’ is doing the rounds… somehow the English sense of camp is even harder to transmit than straightforward humour. Time to buy her more Carry On films, I think.

  4. carol Says:

    I overlooked the fact that there’s a rogue Gorky on at the National - that’s Wednesday matinee taken care of then.

    Have read and slept off Harry P.; now experiencing a stronger urge to watch sci-fi videos (namely Torchwood) than clear desk of a year’s detritus, and who knows, accidently find things still to do thereby.

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