Oy! That’s My Roof!

Where has the month gone then? Just as I was settling into January I turn around and it is almost over.

It has the makings of a busy year. The bathroom is once again front of mind following our brief, but necessary, side excursion into the mysterious world of combination central heating boilers. There is to be a meeting of minds next month, far more minds than can be accommodated within one tiny room as it happens. But with a bit of luck consensus will be reached between all the required disciplines: builders, plasterers, plumbers, joiners, tilers and electricians and a way forward established for this most challenging of endeavours. Then the receipt of an estimate, for which I will no doubt need to sit Mike down with a very large Gin & Tonic.

And then, of course, there is the garden. Consolidation Year. When the areas already under cultivation finally get the full attention they deserve and start to pay back the benefit of all the hard work.

But what we hadn’t seen coming was the roof.



It started a few weeks before Christmas.

A steady accumulation of straw on the path, kind of forcing one to look up..




The thatcher came around last week and immediately identified a prime suspect..



It’s what woodpeckers do apparently. When they’re not pecking wood.

It’s my fault. Of course it is. In the same way that all wildlife misdemeanours are my fault given that it is me who does the most to encourage them. The wildlife that is, not the mischief they get up to while they’re here. Awkward timing too.. Mrs Woodrow has just returned from the Caribbean or wherever it is she goes after raising a brood and is actively feeding up ready for the new season. It won’t be long before the tree drumming starts. Nest renovations will follow and before we know it the constant relay to and from the bird feeders will begin again in earnest. And there’s nothing I’m going to do to get in the way of those gorgeous fluffy red tops making their first appearance around mid June.



The thatcher has addressed the problem temporarily by stuffing the straw back and securing it with liggers and spars. While he was working he mentioned that he’d never known a worse winter than this one for rain. He’s well positioned to know.

But it wasn’t to end there. Let me move six feet to the left and take that same picture again..



See the gap between the cement chimney flashing and the top of the thatch?



The netting across the top of the ridge shows the original roof line.

Sadly it has succumbed in the same way as most of us upon reaching a certain age: gravity has taken over. The straw has sunk. The ridge needs stripping off and replacing. Another bill. Another two bills as scaffolding will have to be erected around three sides of the house. Why not four sides? Because the back slope of the roof is accessible from the Precipitous Bank.. right through the middle of my newly developed planting.

It’s booked in for Spring. Stick around if you want to see a grown woman cry.