Ok, it is a chilly evening and I am lazing in my favourite armchair in front of the fire at Bellaugello Gay Guest House watching Shortbus on dvd.
Until a few months ago I had never heard of Shortbus, however it was mentioned at dinner one evening and so I decided it sounded great and that it was about time I caught up with the present day and so before Christmas I sent off an order for a whole host of new DVDs to Amazon. Let’s face it for the guys who know my DVD collection was pretty poor and outdated, now there are some splendid international titles for the guys to watch whilst on holiday here at Bellaugello.
However back to the gist of this post. I was engrossed with the story but increasingly aware of a persistent drip drip drip somewhere near my left ear. Incredibly lethargically I chucked the dog off my lap – yes, I know he is not allowed on the furniture but it was a miserable evening and he is old and in need of cuddles and so off I went to investigate the source of the persistent drip. The ceiling in my sitting room is cotto tiles and wooden beams and sure enough one of the cotto tiles was wet and water was dripping onto the back of my armchair and the floor…. oh no!!
Now it was too late to go exploring outside, also too d… cold and wet and the film was so good, so I moved the chair and put a bucket to catch the drips and poured myself a whisky and sat back down to the film with the additional soundtrack.
The next morning, breezy but dry I decided to climb onto the roof and effect repairs. Now I KNOW I SHOULDN”T, but would you want to live with a leaky roof? I guess not, so I hauled the ladder out from its storage place at the furthest point of the property and leant it up against the roof and climbed. I had measured from below just precisely where the water was coming through so I clambered over the cotto roof tiles and went in search of the hole.
I soon saw two broken coppi and carefully moved the others to the side and yanked the offending bits out. A perusal of the roof showed that I really should replace a further dozen or so. So I headed back toward the ladder when a sudden squall blew and lo and behold blew the ladder onto the floor…. oh no!!
I was now on the roof – alone – no telephone – dogs shut in the house – deserted road, and the wind was picking up and it was starting to drizzle. Not a good situation to be in. I had visions of being discovered in some future time a mere shriveled skeleton…
No, I just cannot do that so what to do? Not my thought, but suggested as an option to me last night by friends who came for dinner, undress, tie all my clothes together and make a rope to climb down. Yeah right! can you imagine in this cold that would have been the one moment when the dear old lady walks past!!! I had been more inventive, (I am a sun worshipper not arctic cold worshipper) rather I got my steel measuring tape, extended it and made a loop, caught the foot of the ladder and slowly dragged it back into the vertical position. I felt good about that.
Gingerly I climbed down, then found an incredibly heavy flower tub to lodge at the base of the ladder and tied the top end to a beam protruding from the house, now I felt more secure. Over to the hay shed for a supply of coppi, carefully back up the ladder carrying the tiles, and then I placed them. But what to do with the old broken ones? There were now more as walking over the tiles inevitably some more broke. Do I carry them down or stand at the edge of the roof and chuck them into the wheelbarrow below. The latter choice seemed somewhat foolhardy, the wind was still gusting, but meant less scrabbling onto and off ladders so it was the route I chose.
Result- Roof repaired, no drips, lots of broken bits of terracotta for putting in the base of the flowerpots as drainage and a kind of smug satisfaction that I had achieved all that with only minor mishap and a bit of ingenuity and the now thought of the first of the new seasons’ guests might have discovered me naked on the roof!