The weather gets a lot of flak when it comes to heaping misery upon man’s already desperate struggle to keep his head above water in the big bad world.
You’d be within your rights to curse the elements in certain situations.
Picture the scene - single, sans wheels and living in rented accommodation, you are en route to pay a red-lettered utility bill with the last scrapings of your monthly income. The skies open and the resultant flood causes the only post office within walking distance to close early. When you return home you find your electricity has been cut off and when you try to phone the company to get some emergency credit you find your phone is out of battery. Later that evening, by candlelight, you begin writing to your solicitor advising that you wish to mount legal proceedings against Messrs C Nimbus and N Stratus.
Just as there are times when it is fair to curse the weather for its unacceptable behaviour, there are other occasions when you need to hold your hands up and declare, “I am a clampit of the highest order”. One of these occasions took place at the weekend when I aided and abetted a shower of hailstones to flood our roofspace.
On Saturday afternoon I’d been up in the attic packing away some of the children’s clothes and accessories that they’ve grown out of, as well as adding to the collection of keepsakes my wife and I have been accumulating since 1977. I will not deny the fact I am a hoarder and Karen isn’t far behind me. I have never thrown out a single toy in my lifetime and have kept cuttings from comics and magazines covering every single fad I’ve ever been interested in. There’s an entire box alone for football magazines, sticker books, programmes and fanzines.
I stopped buying football magazines at the turn of the century. They aren’t what they used be. In my day they had titles like Shoot, Goal and 90 Minutes. Nowadays they’ve all got pretentious monikers like Indirect Freekick, Stoppage Time and Defensive Midfielder.
More recently Karen and I have amassed a joint collection of mementos including ticket stubs, beermats, significantly-dated newspapers as well as pieces of Route 66 and the Berlin Wall.
On Saturday, having lumbered about the attic for half an hour, it had got fairly hot in the confined space. To deal with the humidity I opened the skylight allowing a pleasant breeze to enter. Upon exiting the vicinity I also left the hatch to the roofspace slightly ajar to allow the air to circulate. It is something I’ve never done before and for a time I felt like a real dad, taking time to consider the importance of evenly distributing heat around the house.
As you already know it proved to be a big mistake.
We later left the house as a family to go to Tesco. On the journey home there was a huge shower of hailstones at which point I remarked that I’d left the skylight open. I’d thought about keeping it to myself but it’s as well I pre-empted my misjudgement because upon entering the house we were greeted with a puddle in the hallway, formed by the stream of water coming out of the attic.
Panic ensued, but after a thorough clean up, the only casualties were a few soggy cardboard boxes that had to be chucked out.
Things came full circle later that evening when I put the receipt from Tesco in our keepsakes box to remind us of the day I flooded the attic.