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I’m in the midst of the next chapter of the ongoing saga of my attempts to keep this house watertight. This time, it’s the poorly-constructed roof of the extension, which has been built with an inadequate overhang, and incorrectly sized and positioned bargeboards. Water has been dripping off the roof onto the cement under the eaves, and from there soaking into the woodwork behind the paint. The wood has been gently rotting away, much to the annoyance of my decorator, who took it as a personal insult and was worried I’d see it as a reflection of the quality of his preparation and painting! The extension is only about six years old, but I last saw the builder sitting in the chair next to Christopher in the chemotherapy unit at Worcester Hospital, and he died a few months later, so there’s no redress there. I suppose I could potentially go after the architect, who was meant to be project-managing the build, but I suspect I’ll get no joy there. Instead I’ve called in a reliable, though hardly inexpensive, firm of builders to get the roof fixed.

So yesterday, three burly tattooed roofers turned up and started erecting scaffolding around the extension. They are effectively fitting a “damp-proof course” all around the edge of the roof, to keep the water off the cement and the woodwork. That should fix the problem at source. The foreman explained to me in great detail this morning exactly what the problem was and what he’s doing to fix it, but unfortunately he used so much technical jargon that I only half understood him! However, I had a good look at the ongoing work when I got home this afternoon, and I can see what they’re doing and it looks like it should throw the water off the roof away from the woodwork.

I sometimes wonder whether I’m excessively unlucky in the number of times my roof leaks. But then I remind myself that my parents and sister are also on first name terms with their respective roofers, so perhaps it’s a family curse!