Last week our boiler went a bit kaput.
We had sporadic heating and hot water until Thursday when it was fixed, possibly temporarily, maybe completely. We await the results with bated breath and a slightly soggy carpet where one of the boiler pipes leaked all over my dressing room.
While all this was happening, the extractor fan in the shower blew up while Jason was actually having a shower, and nearly electrocuted him and set fire to the shower curtain.
It was, I am assured, very dramatic. There was certainly a lot of swearing and a great deal of thudding, which indicates that this was no lie.
The heated towel rail in our en suite also began to leak. The bit that is needed to replace the bit that is making it leak, is teeny, weeny (like a new born chick – as Tallulah used to say), and pretty indescribable. We do not know the make of the towel rail, because nowhere on it does it confess. This makes replacing the part rather difficult.
The chimney pots on the house have also not been capped off, which they should be, as we no longer use them. They have become perfect conduits for rain which has meant that the plaster on the chimney breast in Tilly’s room and Jason’s man cave is now rather soggy, and smells of soot.
On top of that, the continued wet weather has meant that my herringbone path flooded because it got so waterlogged it could not drain.
We have called a roofer. We have called a plumber. We have been to Screwfix more times than anyone should have to go to Screwfix.
Fixing what can be fixed, before our whole house and garden sinks into a dripping mire has been a large part of our weekend.
We have turned off the heated towel rail until we can get to the bottom of the mysterious widget, which means that at least the bathroom floor is not going to fall into my dining room. Which is nice.
Jason has replaced the extractor fan with the help of Tilly and a great deal of swearing (Jason, not Tilly).
The roofer is coming – when, we are not entirely sure, but given the howling gales we have been experiencing for the last two days, probably not until things are a little calmer on the weather front.
The other part of our weekend has been spent gardening.
Despite the weather.
The gardener came on Friday and built us a vast table and two huge benches so that we can have twenty friends, or four giants round for dinner, depending on what we fancy.
He also drained the path so it is not a river any more.
We have trekked about the county, visiting various garden centres and buying many, many plants.
Despite this cornucopia of plant life, the planters are still not full, and I predict it will take many months and considerably more expense before they look proper and not all nekkid.
I sort of stuck to a planting scheme. I have gone for flowers that are blue and white, and the odd deep purple, except for the one pink peony I could not resist. We have however, gone rather overboard with regard to trees.
It turns out that we love trees. Given the choice between a sensible sized plant for a planter, and what will turn out to be a whacking great tree, we have gone for a whacking great tree every time. So far we have purchased; one bay tree, two olive trees, two willow trees, a magnolia tree, a Japanese Acer, two twisted hazel and a fig tree.
This is making things rather interesting and possibly dangerous for the future.
I have also purchased two delicate camellia bushes, one white lilac, and some fragile looking hellebore plants, all of which I will probably kill off in short order. I have left the buying and planting of the huge variety of climbing plants I need until more clement weather is upon us. I cannot kill everything all at once. I must space out the plant genocide carefully.
We have dragged this booty home and planted it in the water logged soil while the wind has howled and whistled, and the rain has splashed down.
We have also bought more garden furniture, and pots, and chimney pots and potting compost.
The garden is beginning to look less bare, and more like it might actually be a garden, although one wonders at the wisdom of bothering to plant at all, given the flooding. Should we just detonate the lot and use the crater as an impromptu swimming pool?