Powerful Magic

Have I ever told you how scared of heights I am? Yeah, I know I met The Boss climbing (well… in a field in the middle of nowhere, actually, but it was through climbing). And I know I love indoor plastic climbing if harnessed up. But normally I’m the kind of person who gets Elvis disco knee just standing on a chair. So you’d have been proud of me today: stood on a ladder, poking and hooking broken roof tiles with a broom from the roof onto the driveway. It’s amazing what you can do when you think your children’s safety is in jeopardy… Well, it was either that, or buy the little blighters hard-hats to wear when passing under the roof, to and from the house.

I know I’ve mentioned on this blog a few times about the ridge tiles on our roof falling off. Along with those of 5 of our neighbours… Again and again. And again.  And again! Well, on Tuesday night’s storm we lost another 2 ridge tiles. It’s amazing! I feel so privileged – this is the 5th time since 3 Feb 2011 (2 years) that we’ve lost ridge tiles in high winds (in fact, that particular ridge has lost tiles 3 times now). We must be living in the most special part of the UK to get such unusual storms. I mean, apparently the standard is that no tile should blow off a roof in the UK. Yet we’ve lost… oooh, I’d need to go outside and actually count the wobbly, not-very-straight replacement tiles on our ridges to be sure, but it must be over 15 now. Perhaps its the unique geography of where our house lies on the hill, that winds only averaging less than 45mph and gusting up to 68mph somehow, I dunno, magically transform again and again (ok, 5 times now) into tornado-strength? Maybe there’s a spell on our house too, so that when all these ridge tiles hit the lawn and driveway below that the mortar that was once holding them so tightly to the roof magically and mystically *disappears* into thin air, leaving only the thinnest little film? Maybe I should rent our house out to ghost film makers? Or see if Most Haunted are interested in investigating.

Is this stuff stickier than the mortar holding the rest of the roof tiles?

Is this stuff stickier than the mortar holding the rest of the roof tiles?

Whatever incantation it is that’s making these ridge tiles fall off again and again (and again and again and again) isn’t being weakened each time the same roofer, D—-, comes to repair the mess. The builder, Tulloch of ——-, have even insisted that it’s nothing to do with them, and assert that it’s unusually high winds. Well, they’re local, so I guess that’s them agreeing that we have magical, special, unique storms up here, then, eh? And bless the owner, J— Tulloch – I saw him bravely following one of the roofers up a ladder last time they were in the street repairing 5 houses’ roofs (again). He had a good old shout and waved his arms around a lot. Maybe he was trying to cast a white magic spell over the black magic spell that must be making those naughty tiles just Keep.On.Falling.Off.?

Well, it has to be magic that’s doing it. What else could it possibly be down to? There are, after all, British Standards to be followed when putting up roof tiles. Ones that even specify what mortar mix to use. And the special measures to take on new-build houses. Even those on windy hills. Something about mechanical fixing. Even the NHBC have been out to have a look and shake their heads with a muttered tut-tut-but-without-taking-it-apart-there’s-no-evidence. My conclusion is that the roof must be under a very powerful magic spell indeed for the NHBC rep to tell me repeatedly that if one more tile comes loose to contact them directly and immediately and not to speak to the builder at all (who, poor lamb, must be so downhearted that his magic doesn’t work).

So, this time, The Boss called the Big Wizard at NHBC who said he’d send someone immediately. On 12th March. It’s the end of January. And those big tiles embed themselves a foot into the grass when they fall off; I shudder to think what they’d do to a little girl. So The Boss called the really big guns: our house insurance. They listened to the whole story and will be round in a few days. I wonder what their magic’s like…?

10 Dec 2011: lots of ridge tiles. Check out the one that fell vertically and is mostly embedded in the grass...

10 Dec 2011: lots of ridge tiles. Check out the one that fell vertically and is mostly embedded in the grass…

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