Hampshire Life - - Inside -

Ren­o­va­tions are not go­ing to plan

With the chang­ing sea­son, Mar­got and Jerry launch in to

ren­o­va­tions once more…but all doesn’t go to plan

Iknew it couldn’t last, dear Reader. I must have tempted fate with too much talk of calm de­scend­ing over the farm­house be­cause the flood­gates seem to have opened and life has gone back to its usual com­edy of er­rors. We seem to at­tract a whole host of mi­nor dis­as­ters and far­ci­cal sce­nar­ios with­out even try­ing.

It’s lucky that Jerry and I have de­vel­oped a se­ri­ous sense of hu­mour as you sim­ply couldn’t make it up some­times!

Take our lu­natic cock­erel for ex­am­ple. Giv­ing Win­ston a home seemed like a good idea at the time. Think of the lit­tle chicks we could have, I re­mem­ber say­ing. No one warned me that a few weeks later we’d have a strut­ting tyrant on our hands with the abil­ity to morph into some­thing out of Juras­sic Park, at­tack­ing ev­ery­one and any­thing. No one was safe. For a noisy bun­dle of feath­ers, he was sur­pris­ingly stealthy be­fore he launched him­self at you, ready to draw blood. After a few months of try­ing des­per­ately to fix or re-home him and spend­ing a ridicu­lous amount of time ask­ing ad­vice on poul­try keep­ing fo­rums (who knew there was such a thing, dear Reader?), Jerry got his wish. Coq au vin for sup­per! I’ll save our neigh­bour­ing farm­ers’ blushes by just say­ing how grate­ful I was for their help. No one needs to know about the Benny Hill style sketch which en­sued whilst they tried to ap­pre­hend our feathered fiend.

From cock­erel chaos to cor­roded pipes - as you know we’ve been tak­ing a lit­tle break from ren­o­va­tions on the farm­house over the sum­mer to en­joy time with fam­ily and friends. It’s been a wel­come change from builders’ bot­toms I can tell you. How­ever, now that the au­tumn is here, it’s time to fo­cus on get­ting jobs done be­fore win­ter. Cue Op­er­a­tion Clear the At­tic Space. As mis­sions go, we thought that this one might be more straight­for­ward, but when has that ever been the case at Mar­got and Jerry HQ?

In­stalling in­su­la­tion proved rather more than we bar­gained for when we found one of the wa­ter tank pipes in the at­tic had com­pletely worn away over time. No one can say for sure how long it had been leak­ing but suf­fice to say it was enough to soak rafters, beams and what lit­tle in­su­la­tion was left that wasn’t the orig­i­nal straw, which was used to make the at­tic draught-proof once upon a time – a lucky es­cape from a col­lapsed ceil­ing wait­ing to hap­pen.

Emer­gency plumber drafted in, I hoped that would be it for the at­tic re­lated calami­ties. How­ever, the house had other plans, dear Reader. In the space of a few hours, to add to the cor­roded lead pip­ing (if only we were play­ing Cluedo), our two burly in­stall­ers bat­tled with a cou­ple of loose can­non hor­nets as well as ac­ci­den­tally scoop­ing up two bumblebee nests and un­earthing a mirac­u­lously in­tact copy of the Daily Mail from 3rd Oc­to­ber 1923. Sadly no gold or hid­den jew­els but the front page news story fea­tur­ing a cer­tain mous­tached politi­cian by the name of Hitler on the rise to power will be framed for pos­ter­ity and hung in the down­stairs loo. You’ll be glad to hear that no bum­ble­bees were harmed in the mak­ing of this lat­est ca­per ei­ther, dear Reader. A lo­cal bee man res­cued them un­der the cover of dark­ness and they have now been re-homed to a nearby copse.

All in a day’s work you might say, dear Reader. I dread to think what will hap­pen when the chim­ney sweep comes next


‘No one warned me that a few weeks later we’d have a strut­ting tyrant on our handswith the abil­ity to morph into some­thingout of Juras­sic Park’

Read more: You can read Mar­got’s blog at mar­got­tri­es­the­ and fol­low her an­tics on twit­ter @mar­got­goodlife.You can also find out more about Mar­got on her pro­file at hamp­

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