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Like Painting the Forth Bridge

It’s that time of the year again when Rob my trusty decorator is here for his annual week as Artist in Residence. It really is a never-ending task to keep the external woodwork in a reasonable condition – each year he does a section of the exterior windows / soffits / eaves and by the time he’s finished the last section it’s time to start all over again. 

This year he’s concentrating on the windows in the extension, which I don’t think have been repainted since they were installed about ten years ago. I always ask him to look out for any problems or maintenance issues as he goes round the house, as he sees things from a different perspective to me. That usually means finding small areas of dodgy wood that need filling or hardening before he paints them. I wasn’t expecting Tuesday’s problem though – he pointed out that the window in the shower-room had been installed upside-down by the original builders! There’s a neat chamfer that’s meant to be on the bottom to let any rain drain away, but instead it’s at the top, directing the water straight into the house! Fortunately, it’s on a very sheltered south-east corner of the house, well away from the prevailing wind and any driving rain, so it’s not actually been an issue. I had my suspicions at the time about some of the subcontractors our builder used, but since I last saw the builder in the same chemotherapy suite at Worcester Hospital as Christopher, and he’s since died of lung cancer, there’s no recompense to be had there.

As well as the exterior re-painting, I’ve also got a whole host of little jobs inside which need doing when I’ve got access to a painter / handyman. That’s been very useful, because it’s been raining too hard for the last few days for Rob to do much outside. So he’s been working through my list, firmly screwing on door-knobs (the living-room and bathroom door handles keep coming off in one’s hand – very disconcerting!), and repainting ceilings in the bathroom, hall and study to cover up dodgy stains (all from leaks that were fixed several years ago, so are only a cosmetic issue rather than a serious problem).  

I’m hoping that the weather improves tomorrow, as I’ve now run out of indoor jobs that need doing, and he really needs to get on and finish the gloss on the windows.  But if it’s still too wet, he’ll have to come back next week to finish the job. It’s unfortunate timing, as the previous few weeks have been dry and sunny. But he must be used to being at the mercy of the elements.