The rain continues, and is set to be present for days to come. This wouldn’t be an issue, we were expecting wetter conditions up in the hills, but for three reasons;
- We have no internal staircase
- We have a small house and 50 people coming for pre-Christmas drinks
- The garage roof leaks
We didn’t really expect the lack of internal staircase to be a huge issue. It’s not like it rains often here, we joked. Our plan was to keep golfing umbrellas upstairs and downstairs and use as necessary. We even bought a pair of howitzer shell casings to hold the umbrellas. How’s that for forward planning, eh?
What we didn’t factor into the plan was that going to bed carrying a bottle of water, a book and assorted other daytime detritus and negotiating the wind whistling over the stone walls (whilst wearing a sling in one of our cases) whilst carrying a huge umbrella is risky at best. So, we do without the umbrellas and run up the stairs getting wet on the way.
Such is life here in the hills.
Problem #2 is a little trickier. We (actually Mands if truth be known, it’s only right she takes the blame for this one) had the bright idea of holding a pre-Christmas drinks thingie to let people see the house and reset all sorts of social obligations all in one. We kicked the idea around a bit, decided we could probably get the essential jobs done in time so, what the hell – let’s have a party!
The only teeny, tiny fly in the ointment is the size of the house. It isn’t big, certainly not big enough to hold all the people we thought we wanted to invite. But December is often bright, if cool, so as long as the weather was fine some people would be happy drinking their wine and eating their mince pie out in the garden. From there they could even admire that lovely outside staircase!
And then the plans went awry. We issued invitations, we expected that some folks would have prior plans and not be available. Shows what we know. Apparently we failed to factor in the lure of the stone cottage with no internal stairs or our reputation for being fairly liberal with the wine bottle. It’s even possible that word got round that Mands was testing new canape recipes on a subset of the group. The upshot of all of this is that pretty much everyone accepted, and there’s no way that they’ll all fit in the house. Which wouldn’t be a problem but for the weather forecast – a 95% chance of rain … and thunderstorms … and an inch of rain.
Which leads to problem #3, the leaking garage roof.
MadAlex had a garage built when he had work done on the house. At least, that’s what we thought when we first viewed the place. What appear to be large wooden gates leading out onto the road aren’t actually gates at all. It’s actually a single unhinged doorway that doesn’t open. We have a spot across the road where we can park the car so that hasn’t been a huge issue so far.
From time to time we kick about ideas about the garage (can you still call it a garage when there’s no way of getting a car inside) and the best way forward. Between us we really can’t come to a decision … should we get it turned into an actual garage? Should we leave the car parked across the road and keep it as a storage area? Should we knock the entire thing down and incorporate the space into the garden?
We’ve discussed this, on and off, since we moved in and hadn’t made a huge amount of progress. In the meantime this badly designed and built non-garage developed a leak … right in the middle. Having reorganised the contents away from the wettest part we figured we’d bought ourselves some time.
And then, in the heaviest of the rain, part of the garage roof came down.
There's a hole in your roof, dear Liza!
So, to summarise; the weather is horrendous and may get worse. We’re expecting 50 people who want food, drink and the chance to nosy around the house. And parts of the place are collapsing. Just how best to juggle these priorities are anyone’s guess.
Roquefort shortbread anyone?