Saturday, 13 October 2012

On the borderlands

We didn't get down to this month's Battle of Hastings reenactment after all.

Dig came home. He dropped by from that earth's arc which strings together your Hong Kong with your South America, then he took the opportunity to do what he normally does in response to any domestic crisis. Adopt a sudden fighting spirit of determination and resolution, take a sledge hammer to a bit more of the house, and chuck the broken remains in the front garden.

In this instance, he discovers this month's domestic crisis is my plague of rats. And the bit of the house he feels compelled to dismantle is an internal bathroom. After that, he will be exhausted, so I don't expect anything else will be touched.

But at the loss of the bathroom, I am heaving a sigh of relief.

This is the bathroom that I closed the door on in 2004 and have never entered since. It is in a slice of Dig's house that is falling apart. The ceiling on his office side is crumbling, and in his kitchen the rain drips through into a bucket. One day he might come round to pulling the roof down, too.

This is the problem with old houses, isn't it? They require such care and maintenance, and they need someone to be here, to complete that cycle of destruction and restoration. Dig finds the destruction hard to face, but the restoration almost impossible. It takes such commitment. Which is difficult for a man who is not here. So I am usually left to look at the house and think what has gone, been lost, or is destroyed.

But it is all a success! We have the horrible bathroom at the tip! Ratty and all his family too, have been given their marching orders!

See? There is good come of it, even though I am faced with a gutted room and a plague of rats.

Yes, I know this spirit is annoying, but I'm not likely to apologise for it. I am always mindful of the man whose oven wouldn't work, so he took himself off to the woods to hang himself.

1 comment:

Irene said...

Good for you for never getting as desperate as that. Please give fair warning if you ever do. I will send an intervention team. If I were wealthy, I'd help you rebuild your house. All I can do now is help you be brave about Dig's approach to it.