Saturday, 10 March 2012

Ominous cracks

Despite having reasonably good sight, and mostly being reasonably observant, I made a sinister discovery today.

It has been light and fairly sunny most of the day so things which might have been overlooked on a darker day were immediately apparent.

I have discovered a series of cracks, lines small fissures.

No, this  is not a job for a plastic surgeon (never would be for me), but a rather worrying separation between my landing ceiling and wall.

Since John's death I have turned my hand to many small insignificant repairs but this is something else.

I crossed the road to my excellent garden-designer, interior decorator, good friend and neighbour and hauled him over for a 2nd opinion.

Waiting, hardly daring to breath, with fingers firmly crossed, and expecting the dreaded words, "you have a subsidence problem". I was delighted to hear instead, "doesn't look too serious, I think it's just a case of filling and redecorating."

As he will be doing some work, decorating my bedroom, in a couple of week's time, he will take a look then.

My over-active imagination had the water tank in the loft descending through the ceiling in the middle of the night at the very least, so my relief was immense.

Everything wears out in time, my left knee is a case in point, but for someone as un-handy as me, little jobs turn into potential nightmares at the drop of a hat.

I know it's regarded as a bit 'girly' to admit to having no handyman/woman skills, but at least I spotted it before the ceiling fell down.

Is it just a generation thing, and are other women of my age (assuming there are any) equally inept in a practical sense, or are they all superwomen, and is it just me?


  1. Ray, I don't think it's a generation thing but rather that until quite recently John took care of this side of things for you and you didn't have to learn it yourself. I tend to rely on DH for house maintenance issues, while I take care of clothes maintenance and other things. My doughty MiL who will be 88 soon was still filling in small cracks in the plasterwork prior to redecoration until her fall last autumn! She was widowed at 57 and simply had to learn or always be obliged to get someone in.

    If its any consolation, almost every house I know has small cracks here and there internally. To me it's the external cracks which are more worrying...

  2. I think you are very brave dealing with all the things you do on your own. I've just been on my own this weekend and to be honest it is all I can do just to keep things ticking over. For me this is a health-thing. Over the last 7 years or so I have had to take so much medication that I am somewhat limited. I used to manage to help out with painting and renovation and gardening, but that is now in the past. Well done for doing all that you do.

  3. My husband is one who can take care of all kinds of jobs and as we are both getting on -- he turned 70 last October -- I've been thinking a lot about how long he will be up to all these tasks. And will I be able to get him to cease and desist when 'the time comes'. I have one female friend who is quite handy with a drill and seems able to cope with all kinds of work that needs doing -- but she is the only one. Our house has lots of little crack here and there -- as Perpetua says it's the one outside that you have to worry about...

  4. Thanks for making excuses for me Perpetua, and when I think about it I have to admit that my mother, sans sight, was still doing the painting and standing on kitchen cabinets to do so in her late 80's.
    So, just me then!
    But then, John never cooked a single meal in the 38 and a half years we were married.
    Nor did he do the washing or gardening, so perhaps not so very unreasonable.

  5. Nothing brave about it Freda. Simply necessity plus a desire not to appear totally useless.
    Since my health is fairly good I don't have your reasons for not doing things.
    Maybe I can get away with using my age as an excuse!

  6. Like your husband Broad, John always did the repair and decorating things so I now have no alternative but to get someone else to do them.
    I have never learned and have no manual aptitude.
    As for the cracks outside, now I won't rest until I've examined every spidery inch minutely. (joke!)
    Hope you're right.

  7. a finding as potentially onerous as the one you found would rather send me into a tailspin! you are fortunate to have a close by handy person!

  8. Fortunate indeed Theanne. If I were in the habit of counting my blessings, which I am trying to do, my neighbours, one and all, would be at the top of the list.