Wednesday, March 07, 2007

downsizing damp

I wandered down to the cottage with Tilly today for a site meeting with the builders, an ancient ritual which all us brave restorers will have experienced. Sometimes I think it's taking longer to knock the place down than it took to build all those centuries ago. The walls may be coming down but the costs just keep going up. I got so exasperated last week I even let off steam to the district nurse when I saw she was in her office when I visited the surgery with Tilly one day. 'Oh!' I cried, 'Everything takes ages around here and sometimes I think it's just impossible to get anything done on your house for under a quarter of a million up here in the north'. She looked at me in what I could see was her shared annoyance at such high building costs and I knew she was thinking exactly the same thoughts as me. It was obviously a common problem. 'Hold this while I get the scissors' she said, handing me the umbilical cord. 'I mean, my God,' I said turning to Mrs Arkwright from number 14 down there on the delivery table 'You obviously can't even get a ceasarian around here, how bloody dark ages is that!?'

I had, however, resolved to remain calm this morning down at the cottage. In the kitchen our guide, our builder's new young assistant, reached up and placed his hand on the wall, shaking his head. I noticed how his muscles were so wirey you could certainly supply all the electricity to the new reproduction period swimming pool through them. Not only that, his thighs encased in those tight jeans were so thick and strong they could easily replace the oak beams that held up the authentic venacular wet room and sauna. He was as tall as the old yew we chopped down to build the double garage, his eyes were the colour of the blue mediterranean tiles in the third ensuite bathroom and his jaw was chiselled out of the very same ancient rock from which the cottage was built before we got started on it. Suddenly I felt a childs elbow in my side. 'Mummy!' nudged Tilly. 'Yes dear' emerged I from my day dream. Tilly raised her eyebrows at mummy's lack of attention. 'The man says you've got a damp patch'. Glaring at our builder and pulling Tilly in front of me I exclaimed indignantly 'Well actually, I said, I left my bicycle out in the rain, not that it's any concern of your's, mister!' and I took Tilly by the hand and we stormed home.

8 comments:

mutterings and meanderings said...

Is everything OK, Rilly? No news since yesterday... you don't have writer's block, do you?

rilly super said...

thanks for your concern darling. No problem with writers block I'm pleased to say, after all how could one suffer from that with a true life diary such as this, with the whole of life's rich tapestry for inspiration? just been rather busy, what with collecting coal from the slag heap and everything, it's grim up north you know, so might be at the weekend but next installment coming soon...

Anonymous said...

Lvely to read your updates of life up north Rilly. How are your darlings, Hilly and Tizzy coping with your new found fame and TV ism? Tootle pip for now I will check in again

Anonymous said...

Aha - I have found you again and now bookmarked you !! the fact that you keep commenting on other blogs, e.g. the Times Online, just pushes them higher up the Google search lists and makes it very difficult to find you.

Or perhaps you are playing hard to get ? Get it sorted, or you will be struggling to keep your readers...

Stewart. said...

Oh dear, I've just passed a kidney stone laughing. I know its not meant to be funny but it certainly got me out of my northern drudgery for a few minutes. Thank you ma'am..

rilly super said...

thanks ever so for visiting stewart, even if you do seem to take some kind of twisted pleasure in the misfortunes of my grim life. I hope that your interest in chasing birds is not the reason for your following the lovely mutterings and and meanderings to this rather lonely and remote spot on the internet, and I won't even ask at what or at whom you're pointing that enormous great thing in your photo. Hope you drop by again though..

andy said...

That was very funny rilly. Even funnier now I've told my mate Bob what to expect when he comes round to give you a quote!
Don't worry, he's a good bloke really rilly.

rilly super said...

thanks andy, I look forward to meeting Bob after your glowing recomendation. A good man is hard to find, as they say, or is it a hard man is go...