Cabin Fever

There is no guttering underneath a thatched roof.

Water droplets gather size and momentum as they roll down the slope and find their target, unerringly, down the back of your neck.

So much that I need to do outside yet the rain is still hurling down. It’s no good even attempting it on days like this. Slithering about on the sodden clay would be frustrating enough. More likely it would be derriere over apex before I could even get a fork in the ground.

And excuses for avoiding the dusting have now officially run out..


2018-02-08T10:40:34+00:00September 19th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. elaine September 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Sadly no photos appeared with this post! But from your description it all sounds a bit grim – it is the same here. Hope it picks up as we are on hols next week – raincoats at the ready I think. Now get on with that dusting.

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      There should be one photo, although not of my wet neck.
      According to the forecast this evening, it should pick up. Have a great holiday!

  2. wherefivevalleysmeet September 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Dear Jessica – I love the way you have captured the droplets of rain dripping from your thatch. But do cheer up – temperatures of 20℃ are zooming in tomorrow and continuing all weekend.

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      I hope so Rosemary, the weeds are loving all this rain!

  3. Pauline September 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    I’m the same as you, the housework gets done when it’s raining! We are almost back to what we should be, housework wise, should have everything ship shape soon, just in time for more sun!! We have heavy rain at the moment, I’m just glad the garden will be enjoying it.

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Getting there too.. three rooms left. 🙁

  4. Denise September 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    We had a badly damaged drainpipe and guttering. Called roofer, he came and gave us estimate but not sure he could find cast iron materials to match existing and we are in conservation area so have to have. Never heard from him again – bad move as one of hubby’s pet hates. Decided to do it himself – but had to buy scaffolding tower (another piece of lads kit!) Found necessary pipe on ebay for £40 not hundreds as thought. He did the task last Saturday and has scaffolding tower now of his own – price? less than estimate with added extra og his new tower!

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Oh, I won’t show Mike, he’ll want one too. Another who has to have every piece of kit.. Sounds like the man did good though.

  5. countrysidetales September 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    Soggy here too. Do you have access to a dog you could walk? That’s always fun in the rain, and also necessitates having to put off housework… 🙂

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Can you hire them? 😉

  6. Jenny September 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Its been fairly miserable here too, and yet the garden seems to love the rain and the weeds grow twice as fast! Typical!

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      Oh, I know. It’ll take days to catch up!

  7. snowbird September 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Lol…I try to avoid housework at all costs….I’ll even decorate first!xxxx

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      Now, that’s a good excuse.. have sander, wot’s the point?

  8. Denise September 19, 2013 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    I have spent my day off doing an Autumn blitz with my steam cleaner, so although il pleut mauvais ici en Kent it also got a bit soggy indoors, too! Squeaky clean now, but it won’t last long, not with all these furry cats around. Hang on to that promise of sun over the weekend!

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      Hats off. Le vin ici en Devon, bad for a week night. Hoping tomorrow will be a better day.

  9. nataliescarberry September 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    I sure wish we could get some of that wet stuff here. I love your comment about no more excuses to keep you from dusting. That’s me too! Except this time of year it’s the heat rather than rain that keeps me in. I hope you can get out soon. Blessings, Natalie

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      I will find any excuse Natalie, however limp!

      • nataliescarberry September 20, 2013 at 2:38 am - Reply

        Me too! Any excuse to get out of housework is a good one! Blessings, Natalie

        • Jessica September 20, 2013 at 8:31 am - Reply

          It’s such an unrewarding task. Give it a day or two and it’ll need doing all over again!

          • nataliescarberry September 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm

            It is definitely an unrewarding task and the dust does not take long to settle back in. Now in the garden, that kind of effort produces great beauty, is much more rewarding, and feeds the spirit. Hope your rains have stopped so you can get back outside and forget about the dusting. We finally got some much needed rain here, and as much as I’d like to be out in my gardn, I’m not going to complain one little bit. God is good, all is right with the world today, and I am so thankful for the rain. Blessings, Natalie

          • Jessica September 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm

            Oh I’m so glad you got some rain, at last! It’s been a long hot summer..

          • nataliescarberry September 20, 2013 at 10:42 pm

            Thanks, Jessica. It has indeed been a long hot summer, but then it always is in Texas. Blessings, Natalie

          • Jessica September 20, 2013 at 11:11 pm

            You must be sufficiently inland to avoid hurricanes, but do you ever get tornados?

          • nataliescarberry September 21, 2013 at 1:10 am

            We live in north central Texas about 5 hours from the Gulf of Mexico so hurricane activity does affect us to some extent. Actually it’s usually at this time of year that a hurricane or hurricanes that move into the Gulf push off the high pressure dome that settles in over us during July and August and prevents the rain from from falling here during those months. That is exactly what has brought us the rain today. A hurricane moved into Mexico and the off spin of clouds and rain moved right up into Texas. Though the officials aren’t sure why, and they do happen periodically in this part of the world, we have been in the throes of a drought since 2008. It has affected many states but some worse than others. It hit Texas very hard and in many places entire lakes have or nearly have dried up. So we have been on water rationing for several summers. We can only water outside twice a week. But this last week they were even talking about lowering that to once a week. I’m not sure what impact this rain will have on that decisio. We got about three inches in the rain gauge in my backyard, but I don’t know if that will be enough to help the lakes. Probably more than you wanted to know, huh?! Blessings, Natalie

          • nataliescarberry September 21, 2013 at 1:12 am

            Sorry, I forgot to answer your question about tornados. Yes we usually have a heavy tornado season in the spring, but in the last couple of years it hasn’t been too bad. Not sure why. Natalie

          • Jessica September 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

            Not too much information at all Natalie, weather fascinates me.
            We complain (frequently!) about the weather in England but it is considerably less extreme than other parts of the world. As we get more rain though it becomes a problem as the land can’t absorb enough of it and rivers overflow, hence more floods. I wish we could spread it around the globe a bit more evenly!

          • nataliescarberry September 22, 2013 at 1:39 am

            And here I thought you had the perfect climate, but then I guess you’re right. Everywhere seems to have pluses and minuses in the weather situations. If there is a perfect place, it might be southern California where I grew up. It’s green and lush and flowering most if not all the time, but then you lose the seasonal
            differences other places enjoy. Now that I live here, I really enjoy having marked seasonal changes, and if our summers weren’t so blasted lond and hot, I would consider it a near perfect place to live. I guess I have a bit of the “grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” mind set. I am really interested in following your garden experiences so I can get a good idea about what it’s like to live and garden in the UK.
            Have a great day. Blessings, Natalie

          • Jessica September 22, 2013 at 10:36 am

            I always said if I did move out of the UK it would be somewhere warmer. As I get older though, I am coming to appreciate the change in seasons. I just hate the cold. If a perfect place did exist, it would be very crowded!

          • nataliescarberry September 23, 2013 at 3:33 am

            You’re right, if the perfect place existed it wouldd be very crowded. So we move on with our gardens and gardening lovely the glory they bring us in spite of some level of discomfort at times. Our temp when I got up this morning was 59 and it led into an absolutely gorgeous first-day-of-fall day! The temps will warm again but hopefully the summer’s “heat beast” is on his last leg and we won’t go back up into the triple digits. I’ve been working in the garden the last several days getting beds ready for sowing larkspur and poppy seeds. If they aren’t sown in the fall here, we just don’t have any and they are two of my very favorites. Being able to be out and about has lifted my spirits out of their heat wearied state. Have a great day. Blessings, Natalie

          • Jessica September 23, 2013 at 12:41 pm

            Enjoy your garden Natalie, it sounds perfect for it at the moment!

          • nataliescarberry September 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm

            Thanks, Jessica. I am enjoying it, and now more things are starting to bloom again. Blessings, Natalie

  10. Mise September 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    An excuse in time saves nine, so the sooner you think one up the better.

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      That’s it! I need to stitch..

  11. Simone September 19, 2013 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Oh it is horrible to be stuck indoors isn’t it? I hope the rain eases off and you get some time to venture outside. Where’s that Ptolomy got to? I shouldn’t leave him to his own devices for too long!!!

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      Ptolemy is in the woods, haven’t seen him for ages but can hear him. Or a n other pheasant anyway. Hoping he’ll be back when food gets more scarce..

  12. Rosie September 19, 2013 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Raining here too! Too wet to consider anything outside and inside, well, with all the dust from the bricklaying in the back of the garage it’s pointless doing much in the way of cleaning downstairs – my excuse to get stuck into a good book:)

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Sounds like the perfect excuse to me..

  13. Jo September 19, 2013 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    I’ve never thought about guttering and thatched roofs before. It’s been the same sort of weather here, but I still haven’t done any housework.

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      Nor did I in the end.
      The other problem with the drip zone is planting anything underneath. It stays sodden all winter, so little will survive.

  14. Em September 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    I’d forgotten that about thatch! I have to admit, I don’t miss it at all. Did you have problems with house insurance? NFU were the only ones that would cover us without a massive thatch premium. The rain has stopped here at last – hooray! It’s nearly dark though…sigh.

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      We had NFU in a previous thatched cottage, it’s another specialist insurer this time. It’s all the add ons that cost, like the premium for a wood burner, even though I don’t dare use it!!!

  15. Serendipity September 19, 2013 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Love the new header! I was going to ask the same thing as Em above. We’ve seen loads of thatched cottages for sale at pretty good prices but I guess the insurance must be expensive and hard to find. xx

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      The insurance isn’t too bad considering, but the maintenance is quite onerous. We will need to replace the whole roof in the next few years. And as thatch is usually attached to an old house anyway it rarely ends there.

  16. Monica September 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    we had a gorgeous sunny afternoon here! (and your house has a thatched roof? Love them!!)

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      The charm of thatch makes up for all its shortcomings, for me at least. Except maybe for the spiders..

  17. Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots September 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Rain here too. Funny, but dusting never crossed my mind!

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm - Reply


  18. Sarah September 19, 2013 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    That’s a fantastic picture. I can almost feel that drop of water going down the back of my neck. Did you manage to create a dust free home? Like you I much prefer being outside in the garden rather than housework!
    Sarah x

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sarah.
      I was doing well earlier in the week, but somehow got sidetracked today.. I need lots of interesting projects in the winter to distract, it’s not my favourite time of year.

  19. Jacqueline September 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    We have the same weather here in Hertfordshire but, the weekend should be warmer and sunny so, no excuses !!!! XXXX

    • Jessica September 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      Hurrah! Can’t wait to get back out. Enjoy x

  20. Laura September 20, 2013 at 4:47 am - Reply

    The soffits and facia are still being put on the house, and we specifically asked that the downspouts not be in the front of the house in the sitings drawn by the city planner. Thatch sounds MUCH more interesting!!!

    • Jessica September 20, 2013 at 8:32 am - Reply

      Interesting but a lot more work. Your new roof you can just forget about in your lifetime!

  21. Laura September 20, 2013 at 4:50 am - Reply

    Is it spelling “sitings” or “siteings”…at any rate, the city planner was most obliging!

    • Jessica September 20, 2013 at 8:35 am - Reply

      It’s the details that count and downspouts are not pretty things. You are doing a great job!

  22. BadPenny September 20, 2013 at 8:28 am - Reply

    Oh I never thought of that; so no water butts under the drain pipes ? Not too much rain here & the sun is shining as I write – hope it comes out for you today !

    • Jessica September 20, 2013 at 8:41 am - Reply

      No, we do have one water butt on an outbuilding. Need more really.
      Still very grey here, so I hope so too. Thanks Penny.

  23. colleen September 20, 2013 at 9:20 am - Reply

    I’ve held out on the dusting – and the sun is going to come out later today, so may even get away with it until October!

    • Jessica September 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      The sun hasn’t got to the far reaches yet, but I hear the forecast is good. Hurrah!!!

  24. rachel September 20, 2013 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Same here yesterday, but we braved the rain and went off for the day. I can tell you that unthatched shop fronts in Totnes drip accurately too – right onto my head, into my middle parting, to be precise. But then the sun came out, and we were far too far from home to even think of dusting (our bedroom!!) or painting (that bathroom!!) or – oh so much worse – hoovering (everywhere!!). Today’s great forecast for sun hasn’t been proved right yet. I may have to go out to avoid housework….

    • Jessica September 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      I am thinking of staging a hoovering strike until I am bought a cordless one. Isn’t it just too much hassle in a cottage with so many corners, nooks and crannies.. ?

  25. knitsofacto September 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    No one should ever run out of excuses for not doing the dusting … have a few of mine …

    I can’t remember where I put the dusters/this book’s due back at the library tomorrow/apparently not dusting reduces ozone (yes, really, it’s been researched!).

    • Jessica September 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      I love that last one.
      The water treatment plant that we had installed is very sensitive to modern day cleaning products. Sadly, I do have to be careful how much washing I do in a day, and how often I use surface cleaners (Dettol and the like) in the kitchen.

  26. Linda September 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    I like the colours and textures of the thatch in your photo! Hopefully the weather will turn again otherwise that clay soil won’t dry out a little and gardening will be hard going. Not good.

    • Jessica September 20, 2013 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      Thankfully it was dry today, so I’m hoping tomorrow I will be able to get out again. The weeds have been growing like crazy!

  27. haggiz September 21, 2013 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Think it’s supposed to get warmer from today, so now your housework is done you can get back out there! Julie x

    • Jessica September 21, 2013 at 9:52 am - Reply

      Rain again this morning, but hopefully later!

  28. wherethejourneytakesme September 21, 2013 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    We’ve been through Cheshire and Shropshire today and Thatch is everywhere in these counties some even with guttering though I prefer it without! Not a drop of rain fell today though it was over 20 degrees. Pass the duster to Mike and go outside and enjoy yourself.

    • Jessica September 22, 2013 at 9:57 am - Reply

      It seems rather murky here, with drizzly stuff coming in off the Atlantic. But yesterday it cleared up and I got a lot done, so hopefully the same today.

  29. Crafty Gardener September 21, 2013 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    It has been raining here all day. We did do a trip to the landfill, dressed in wellies and raincoats, to get rid of a lot of brush we had cut during the week. The rest of the day has been spent inside catching up on those jobs we always say are for rainy days!

    • Jessica September 22, 2013 at 10:01 am - Reply

      Ours is going the same way now, I’ve long since overwhelmed the compost bin!

  30. CherryPie September 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    I thinks nature is trying to tell you something…

    I have to confess I wouldn’t be listening to nature either if it involved dusting 😉

    • Jessica September 22, 2013 at 10:06 am - Reply

      Hate it Cherie. Not that I enjoy any type of housework if truth be known..

  31. Natalie September 22, 2013 at 12:38 am - Reply

    And here I felt relieved that we finally had a rainy day today! 🙂 It has been a pretty dry summer here.

    • Jessica September 22, 2013 at 10:09 am - Reply

      It’s been a lot drier here than the last few summers, I am grateful for that.

  32. Chel C September 22, 2013 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    I forgot that about a thatch! We used to own a thatched cottage and I can remember on rainy days that we used to go out the back rather than the front door otherwise we would get a cold shower. I do miss it though, especially on winter days when the cottage was so warm with the wood burners pumping out their heat.

    Thanks for your comment on my post xx

    • Jessica September 22, 2013 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      Thatch is a very good insulator, especially if you also had thick walls. Our kitchen is in a modern extension, and it’s freezing in comparison!

I'd love to hear from you..