Just over three weeks ago, I became aware that some damp was getting into the mansard roof here at the Tortoise Loft (and the roof is partly my front wall, as my flat is in the attic). Nothing too bad, but some obvious signs at one end of the living room, probably from the long-neglected guttering above. And the next day I heard a strange little noise coming from the same bit of wall.
A brief “tk-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk” sound at irregular intervals. It didn’t make sense as any kind of natural noise from water ingress, so what was it? A bit of web-searching revealed the answer: deathwatch beetles in the old oak timbers that have got damp. (There’s a recording here on Wikipedia which gives you a good idea of the sound. It isn’t like a watch ticking, but it is very like someone winding an old-fashioned pocket watch.) Needless to say, next morning I got in touch with the housing association that I rent from. I’ve already had a visit from one of their surveyors, with another surveyor from the company that owns the building due next week. So, with any luck, they will be able to make arrangements to get the offending roof and guttering repaired and deal with the leaks and my little clicking friends. But I could have done without this upheaval, and rather wish that they had done at least some preventive maintenance on the roof in the last 14 years I’ve lived here!
Meanwhile, I’ve been pressing on with my violet embroidery. The picture above was taken this morning. It’s slow progress as I can only do the fine stitching when the light is excellent and my patience for this detailed silkwork only lasts for a few needle-fulls at a time. (If I do too much, or work in bad light, I end up spending half the next session unpicking. I somehow doubt that I am the only stitcher this happens to!) But the plant is really starting to take shape now, so – provided I don’t rush and ruin it – I think I will be quite pleased with the finished piece.
I will be spending Easter with my Dad. I would like to get that big leaf finished while I am there.