Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The rooferman falls, the mud thickens, & friendship glows

Continuing to slosh our way into 2010 as the rain continues to fall, varying from big raindrops to tiny drizzle-type raindrops, and every variety of raindrop in between. But it isn't cold. This is a blessing. One's toes can get very cold indeed when the temperature drops to below zero, and caravan life can get a tad on the wearisome side. But it must be even more wearisome for our rooferman, who has been a stirling trooper when it comes to getting our roof done. Goat-footed, nimbly he has been shimmying up and down the ladders  and tiles getting the house roof done. So now the weather boarding to keep the wind from blowing the roof off away into the sky. The easiest job really. 

So round on the roof of the half barn he was working, with ladders in place: one to get up onto the half barn roof, the other to get him up to the eaves of the house where the boarding had to go. 

But somehow the top ladder decided not to be a teamplayer, and went on strike, sliding off to one side as it did so. Rooferman Jean Pierre was left in mid air, then momentarily became a bird hovering in flight before gravity won the day and pushed his bod downwards, to land with a smack on the middle velux window of the half barn roof. 

Not to worry though. Despite immediate concerns, rooferman Jean Pierre is alive and well and ready to go a-roofing again, but only after a lengthy rest so his bod can recover: it was a nasty smack. Meanwhile the velux window is mortally damaged. But without even a hint of crossness, Hubs said that we would pay for its replacement. After all, people are more important than things, and somehow the money will be found. The velux is replaceable but bods are not, and the velux acted as a brake to his fall and stopped him slipping headfirst down the rest of the roof and from thence onto the ground below.

Getting the car off the drive is proving more and more difficult as the raindrops sink gleefully into the summer-dry earth. Back and front, all tracks are becoming mud baths, so much so that the builder, for whom Jean Pierre works, mentioned that bringing any heavy vehicles onto the land is going to be difficult for a while. Not to worry, though. At least the roof is done, and any other work can wait. Meanwhile, we continue to slosh about; we are, after all, erstwhile smallholders, and as we get the animals onto the land over the next few years, the sloshing about in muddiness will only ever get worse. Therefore 'Enjoy the immediate inconvenience because in comparison to what it is likely to get like in the future - well, it's not too bad!' is my present state of mind. 

Bools and Gus have become buddies, but not 'Lets play and romp and do daft things' type of buddies, just accepting of each other's positions, Bools being top dog and Gus being under dog. Only now Bools is no longer giving Gussy a thumping every time he steps out of line, Gussy is becoming demanding and difficult. Not to worry, though, at least peace reigns. Well sometimes it does. Other times either me or Hubs are yelling at Gussy-boy because he is being naughty. I think the term 'terrible two's' applies very well to this little dog, even though in doggy terms his age is nearer to twenty years old. It is entirely possible that this small fiend has never been allowed to be himself. Which is perhaps why the smallest one of our unit is the one which is the hardest work. Ah well, we will continue to persevere with this little monster. 

The photo up top shows Bools and Gus roasting infront of the heater, for once both are quiet and snoring blissfully. And they are lying quite close together showing that there is good harmony growing between them.

Things I have learnt: That people are important. That doggies are good friends. That boots can be dried even if plastered with mud which lays over them so thickly that the actual shape of the boot can't be seen. That rain is good for the grass, which is continuing to grow in our newly grassed fields, and it is also enormously inspirational to the rate of growth of the dreaded dock plants which are putting on an impressive spurt. I am starting to learn that one has to play a deadly game with this plant, which is spray them dead!
Latest update now concluded. Hope you are well, and enjoying the start of 2010. 


Julie said...

Oh, your rooferman is very brave, or foolhardy! He probably enjoys working outside.

I dont know that I could go through what you are going through. Is hubs English, too?

DUTA said...

Hi Vera,

Thanks for the update.
I'm glad peace reigns in the dog kingdom of Bools and Guss,and that it's not cold only rainy (with God's help you will overcome the problems caused by the mud).

The best piece of news is that the roofer is alive and well.

Vera said...

Hi Julie, our rooferman braved some naughty weather just before Christmas to get our roof water-tight for the winter ahead, bless him, and we are so pleased that he didn't injured more than a few bruises.
I think you could do what we are doing if it was right for you to have the experience. Sometimes one can surprise oneself by what one can achieve when one puts a mind to it.
Hubs is South African, but has spent chunks of his life in the UK, where we met. Bless him, I was like a gigantic boulder landing in his quiet pond of a life!

Vera said...

Indeed, Duta, we are also glad that our rooferman has escaped a greated physical catastrophe. And God is helping us all the way, even if at times we forget that we are. As for the mud, it's not too bad. At least we aren't suffering from barrel loads of snow like they are having in the UK at the moment. Mud or snow? Will take mud anyday. Now when we are indoors full time, then it can snow because we will be all warm and toasty by then!

Renee said...

Vera thank God he wasn't seriously hurt. That could have been bad.

You are living such an interesting life.

Love Renee xoxo

Vera said...

Renee, thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment. You have so much going on in your life at the moment, and I appreciate your visit very much. Thanks.

Land of shimp said...

I'm also glad that your poor roofer turned out to be primarily unharmed. Although I question the wisdom of his chosen vocation, clearly he has the stalwart nature required! I question it only because I'm too prone to falling when situated on the ground, I'd be a menace if allowed up on roofs, as sooner or later I'd fall on someone.

Sounds like it is feast or famine in terms of moisture where you are. Wouldn't it be lovely to have access to the way you felt when it was just dry-dry-unrelentingly dry? That way you could just upload that, "Will it ever rain?" feeling, and appreciate the nonstop drizzle.

Best of luck staying warm, snug, and reasonably dry!

Vera said...

L of S, I'd be a menace too. Hubs clambered up onto the very top of the new roof escorted by our rooferman, and beckoned me to follow him, "To see the view of our fields" he said. I would have obliged, but suddenly realised that I simply had to get on with the thousands of tasks which were going to be necessary if lunch was going to get on the table any time soon. Good excuse, heh?
Thanks for your best wishes, re: staying warm, etc. Hope you are too.

Barry said...

Roofing is a dangerous profession, I'm glad your rooferman wasn't more seriously injured. When we were having an addition built on our house we discovered both our builders had bad backs from previous falls.

Didn't seem to slow them up any.

But did make me feel guilty enough to get up on the roof and help them.

Vera said...

To obviate our guilt about the dangerous shimmyings on the roof by our rooferman, Barry, we supplied him with regular 'thé anglais', (English tea) avec une petite tranche de gateau (a small slice of cake - homemade!) This seemed to keep him going, and he seemed to develop a liking for the English tea. We also cleared up after him, which helped his workload. Bon hommes, these roofers!

Roz said...

Oh, my heart was in my mouth reading about his fall - I hate heights and when we re-roofed this house I stayed safely on terra ferma loading the tiles onto the tile lift. I was only happy when everyone was back on the ground - especially as they were freinds, not professionals.
Have you not had any snow yet? We have lots xx

Vera said...

Crikey, Roz, you were brave doing the roof yourselves! But probably a whole lot cheaper than ours cost! Yes, we have had snow: one spoonful which I got off the corner of the tarpaulin covering the kitchen caravan! We seem to be in a sheltered corner, which is odd because we are very near to the Pyrennees and one would think we would have had barrel loads of it by now.
Hope you keep warm and dry.

the fly in the web said...

Poor guy! We have an ex roofer friend..he stopped because of injury, two of his brothers likewise and Dad died in a fall.
He says that the harnesses are so cumbersome, people take them off, thus the accidents.

Vera said...

Hi Fly in the web, harness? What harness! Never seen any of our French builders wearing not so much as a safety hat! No wonder I got to the end of 2009 feeling frazzled - it must have been very much contributed to watching the antics of our roofers as the house's hat went on! Thanks for visiting, and hope 2010 is a kind year for you.