House repairs 3

X did a good job for me clearing a gutter that was flooding every time it rained – I reckoned no one would thank me if I tried to do it and fell off the ladder!! He also fixed the electric mowing machine – I couldn’t get the wheels down more and it was digging up the grass and very heavy to use – I think he’s a very pleasant young man.

Did you find out about the damp rot from the smell, not the downstairs exotic cooking???! Couldn’t this be the converters’ liability?

Our blasted man’s not turning up day after day and now there’s little hope of having it done by Christmas which we really hoped for. Infuriating. The man gave us a quote and said he’d start at the beginning of September. Well, after putting it off for over a month he rang and said he wouldn’t start till the beginning of November because he had finals at varsity! Economic History of all subjects too. What are builders coming to?!

X has been working like a slave since we last saw them and not only has he bought a house and landscaped half the garden but he built on a double garage and flat for his in-laws and made all the furniture for it from kit-sets.

Last weekend we went up to help X with some of the cleaning of their house. I spent the afternoon doing the 11 ft high kitchen ceiling and the upper walls which were liberally coated with grease. They had let off a smoke bomb earlier in the day so I was not afflicted with flea bites which the girls have both suffered from after an earlier afternoon there.

This time the front end loader (with four big wheels) got stuck altogether and they had to bring their big bulldozer in to to extract it. Result – great gouges in the turf in several places in the field – and when it stops raining I must go and have a look at my water pipe which runs across the field barely covered by the grass. I fear the worst for it – though mercifully it is not all that difficult to replace if they have broken it -it just needs a small length of the black pipe, two copper tubes of six inches or so for the joins, a couple of jubilee clips and a thermos of hot water to soften the pipe enough to get it on the tubes.

I cleaned out both the tanks. The top one was quite a job. I cut a manhole in the top, through which I stirred up the mud on the bottom while the water ran out (having disconnected the tap) until it was shallow enough to get inside to wash down the sides. I couldn’t get all the mud out, but did manage to dilute what remained below the level of the exit pipe quite a lot. It had been doing quite a job as a settling tank. And it certainly has quite a lot to cope with. Even when the creek appears to be running really clear, the filter is dark brown and thick with mud after 24 hours, reducing the flow into a trickle.

X noticed a drip coming through their porch; she rashly poked it and two bucketfuls of water came through. A hole in the porch roof. The man was due to come this morning – I hope it doesn’t prove to be worse than they think.

The porch roof