Tuesday, 14 August 2012


One of the problems with growing older is the totally baffling arrival of the fear factor. Only a few years ago it seems, DB would have shifted up a ladder to do repairs without a thought. Now both he and I are more cautious.

The rear gable end of our home needs the mortar that seals the last row of tiles to be chipped out and redone. The birds were showing more than a passive interest in the holes! We had thought that he could do it and I would be his builders mate, passing up tools, buckets of mortar etc.

However, even with a ladder of reasonable length, he not only felt uncomfortable but also unsafe. As we have a patio beneath this area, the prospect of falling onto it didn't hold any appeal, nor the thought of ending up in hospital with broken bones, or worse still, killing himself in the process. Sometimes you have to give in gracefully and use savings to do some jobs.

So we called in a local roofer whom we had seen around the village doing very good major and minor repairs to properties. We had a rough idea of what the price would be but hadn't realized, under the new health and safety rules, that scaffolding would be needed so our estimate was doubled. We didn't take long to decide and today the builder part of the team arrived at 7.30am to put up the scaffolding. They were half way through when the rain came but carried on, getting wetter and wetter in their summer clothing. Anyway, 45 minutes later it was up.

The roofer will come on Saturday to do the job, then another day the builder will come back and dismantle the scaffolding.

The previous owner of our property built the extension and although it was inspected as it was built, we don't think the very last row of tiles could have been inspected. A few night ago in bed, I heard tiles slipping. Told DB who thought I had imagined it and looked the next morning but couldn't see anything had shifted. I knew where the sound had come from and could see the bottom 3 tiles near the guttering had moved by 1 or 2 inches. He pushed them back into place but they slipped again so had to be wedged with a piece of tile against the guttering.

All was revealed when the roofer came to give us a quote. He pulled off said offending tiles (only half the width or a normal tile) to find they had not been fixed to the batons (which themselves were too short anyway). He said he will drill through them and attach them where he can – as he carefully put them back. Obviously, previous owner had used the mortar itself to set them in place. Here's hoping the entire row isn't like it although I expect it will be!

Just to make you smile, I thought I would show you what is probably the smallest harvest in the world - a single plum. Actually there were just 2 but we ate the other one a few days ago.



  1. That's a really sweet plum harvest :-) I'm sure it tasted delicious.
    In my garden the plums are ripe on one of my trees, and I will need to harvest very soon.

    I hope the roof repairs of your house will go well!!

  2. You were very sensible to employ a roofer - as we get older we tend to 'get someone in' too, rather than 'do it ourselves' as we always did. Better to be safe than sorry!
    Rose H

  3. Very sensible sometimes to pay a man to do it. Whilst health and safety often IMHO is mad, common sense states it was not safe to do yourself. Peace of mind is priceless!
    Love the plum!

  4. Hilde, it tasted lovely.
    Rose H, How true!
    Abigail, Very true.


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