Friday, 20 March 2009

Boy with birthday and house with no roof

Yesterday was Leo’s ninth birthday and we spent most of the day at home – at his request – apart from a short trip to the park. Pearlie also went to her Sussex Wildlife Trust course in the morning, where they made soup with nettles etc. and cooked it on a fire. She has really enjoyed this course – making wooden cutlery and other nice things – and it was lovely for her to go on a day with some warmth.
Leo got his presents from us and P and was very happy with those. I won’t blog details in case he wants to. He’s having a family gathering at the weekend where he will get more pressies, so the joy is spread! We went to the Muesli Mountain Market on the way to the park (Muesli Mountain is a nickname for this part of town – dates back twenty or thirty years and is a pop at the sort of folk who live round here) so that Leo could consider the purchase of a writing case. He decided to buy it. I love it and am quite jealous!

Meanwhile, the house was having its old and saggy roof removed. The huge weight of the roof and all its tiles was effectively sitting on the joists (not how a roof should be supported!) and once it was taken off, those joists started to wobble. As the builders walked on them they bounced up and down and so did the upstairs ceilings! Builder has decided that these joists need supporting with new timbers so those will be coming on Monday. The lifted weight has meant that cracks have appeared around the edges of Leo’s bedroom ceiling as it moved with the wobbly joists. I suddenly got anxious when it was time for Leo to go to bed and put him in our bed (no worrying cracks) and slept on P’s bedroom floor on (actually, rather more off) a camping mat. Builder has popped in this morning to re-assure me that the ceiling is not going to fall down on anyone and that all will be stable when new timbers are fitted and fixed to old joists.

This house is nearly 150 years old and has clearly suffered from bad decisions in the past. I just hope we are making good ones now. I think we are. But it is not fun going through this process. At the moment our roof is effectively some sheets of tin and some plastic sheeting so I hope the ‘drizzle’ forecast for Sunday is light.

I should be, and am, grateful that we are in position to be getting this work done now. I am aware that other people are facing decidedly dodgy times at the moment. As we went past a newspaper advertising board yesterday, Leo spotted this:

“Recession has grip on Sussex”.

Leo said, “It can’t have a grip on us because it doesn’t have a solid form. If it was incarnated as some kind of monster it could have a grip on us.”

I think it probably is turning into some kind of monster for a lot of people.

Right, we have to keep an eye on the time today because of various commitments. I shall be trying to stay calm and enjoy a day without the scary banging from overhead!

P has asked me to ask here if anyone has any advice about how long flowers should be pressed fo. How does she know when they are really done?


peri said...

A belated very happy birthday to Leo from all of us - so sorry it's late, don't know why but got it in my head his birthday was April - another 40's brain phart moment. Glad to hear he had a lovely day with more to follow.

a said...

Happy Birthday Leo!

mamacrow said...

Happy birthday Leo!

and continuing good luck with the roof...

Pearl said...

well my birthday is in april maybe you got us confused! hehehe pearlx

Em said...

Happy Birthday Leo!

As for pressing flowers, I usually find it is longer than the first time you check them, longer than the second time you check them...then the third time you check them is by accident when you're about to put new flowers in 2 years later and they're definitely done!

Gill said...

I love nettle soup. Happy birthday Leo!

Huge WOW about the house. You'll have practically rebuilt it by the time you've finished, won't you?! Here's hoping you get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Liza said...

Happy birthday Leo!

Allie said...

Thanks to all for birthday wishes and flower pressing tips!

Indeed, Gill, this is all rather radical but it is certainly the builders who'll have done the work and not us, thank god!