“Sshhhhhh…” He said slightly overdoing the ‘h’s

I am much preoccupied with flooring and guttering.

One of the nerdier sides to my character includes a strange fascination with drainage. I don’t exactly know where it sprang from but I think it came from many happy hours damming and diverting small Scottish burns when I was a child. Stacking pebbles and sticks in cold, gin clear water in an doomed effort to hold back the stream. I imagine that my parents looked on fondly imagining a bright future for their elder child as an engineer. Constructing huge dams spanned by elegant bridges in exotic places across the world. Hurriedly jotting down innovative and perfectly balanced formulae for the load/density co-efficient on the back of a Manila envelope.

Sadly it did not work out quite like that but I have still maintained an interest. I enjoy (and please do not think ill of me for admitting this) rodding a blocked drain. I like the cold fish feeling that you get on your arm having spent time lying flat in a puddle groping for the bottom of a blocked gully. Clearing gutters amuses me greatly and digging long drainage trenches gives me immeasurable pleasure.

I am sure Dr Freud would have lots to say on the subject but it is probably all about that moment of release. When the blockage is finally freed and with a joyful gurgle the water rushes on its merry way. A couple of years ago some misguided person decided that I should have an entry in Who’s Who. This may have been a cynical marketing exercise to try and make me cough up £115.00 for a copy but it meant that, under the heading of ‘Recreations’ I could put ‘Drainage’.

At the moment I have an excuse as I am buying gutters and digging soakaways for our new house which is currently being torn apart by some sturdy builders wielding  jackhammers and wheelbarrows.

Flooring is another small obsession: I had a fantasy when younger that my luxury item, if I was asked on Desert Island Disc,s would be a never ending pile of good quality York stone in random sizes. My plan was to amuse myself while awaiting rescue by paving the entire beach. Now that my back is not as strong as it was I have changed my wish to a bottomless bucket of Lego which is much lighter but will still keep me amused for many hours. We are trying to decide on both indoor and outdoor flooring so that little obsession is being stoked on a daily basis.

God, my life is so full of excitement and thrills. I am not sure what state I will be in by the time we get round to choosing bathroom fittings and banisters.


Anyway, it gives me the excuse to show you a picture of what will, one day, become my new garden. We have a few months of chaos left before we can move in and we can concentrate on anything other than digging up floors and knocking down walls. But one day, I can start gardening again.

Although there will still, fortunately, be drains.

Among other things we are working towards a big website and blog rejig. Hopefully Luke and Petra will have done their thing and we can have a bit of a relaunch in January.

I am listening to Buzzcut Season by Lorde. The picture is of the leaf of a Magnolia grandiflora.