The night did not go well.
Half way through the film ‘Thor’ David fell asleep, an early night was on the cards? As I snuggled into my pillow and Banjo licked his paws at the foot of the bed ready to descend into the land of doggy Nod, a once fast asleep step-brother burst into the room exclaiming that it was ‘P#$%&ing it down outside!” And then shot off into the inky-blackness. Over the next 5 minutes, listening to the gentle patter of raindrops, somewhere out there splashing onto to some annoying surface, I wrestled with the concept that this was a bad dream and I needn’t lift my head from this little bit of Bulgarian comfort. After all, Banjo didn’t seem concerned and had moved on to licking another more delicate region of his body. The phrase, “I can’t find the F@#$%ing torch” came faintly from the other side of the house followed by the opening and slamming of the front door (there are only front doors). I reluctantly surmised that this was reality, and switched on a blinding room light and got dressed. Banjo watched from the bed with a look in his eyes that said “Tough mate, I don’t climb ladders in the dark so I am staying here.” Lucky bar steward!
I met David in the kitchen having returned from the car with a portable light clutched by a dripping hand. After firmly and not so politely mentioning that I was not climbing up any ladders in the dark with it sheeting it down outside, it was decided to gain access to the roof through the loft door. This we did.without too much difficulty.
Luckily, the last task of that afternoon’s work was to take large plastic sheets up into the roof space as a precaution that the 5 days of hot and sunny weather forecast was wrong and there might be a small amount of precipitation (last year without warning we had 3 feet of snow!). We set about pulling the sheets over the rafters and after what seemed a relatively short time all but one small corner was covered. It had originally been planned to prevent the wind from blowing the sheets away to hammer in a few nails. However, as we had neither hammers or nails with us and now that we were inside the tent of plastic, neither of us fancied venturing out onto what was now an increasingly wet and slippy roof. We trusted to fate and returned via the loft door to the haven of the upstairs lounge. On descending the stairs the faint drip, drip, drip of falling water could be heard from the study. On inspection it was found to be a regular beat of water coming from just above one of the windows. A bowl was placed underneath it and we went back to bed. Banjo didn’t even stir as I stepped over him to reach my pillow.
On awakening an few short hours later, David confessed as he made coffee that he daren’t go and look at the bowl on what was sure to be the now upstairs swimming pool. I went, I looked, I returned with bowl in hand. Inside was just a few drops of moisture. Obviously the storm had lasted just long enough to roust us from our beds, soak us to the skin and cause David a worried nights slumber. Venturing onto the roof we found that even though the plastic sheets had been blown to the side that the floor was relatively dry. The beauty of Bulgarian insulation is that dried mud can take a fair bit of soaking before it runs away in rivers. or allows the water to pass through it. We were pleased.
Sevdolin arrived and he was given the task of painting the new joists with bug killer. And we threw the plastic off the roof and then setabout our tasks. I filled all the holes in the walls with mortar, David swept the floor, cleared the debris and exposed the holes in the floor that the Sossals (Bulgarian rats) had made. He later filled them with fresh English type mud as we didn’t have access to Bulgarian cows to make it authentic. I moved onto cementing a skin around the two chimneys as earlier we had discovered there had been a small fire in the roof, caused by the mud failing to hold the bricks together and thus causing a gap to appear, allowing the heat the escape.
After lunch of garden salad, Sevdolin went back to the Woodstore roof and we set about measuring and working out the positions of joists etc. After removing and resetting some of the wood holding the guttering we were satisfied that we were ready to start putting the roof back. Then Milen turned up. Out of politeness to his neighbour and also to keep an eye on what he was doing in the garden David returned to ground zero. An hour later. after scoffing some of my carefully collected breakfast walnuts, Milen left and as it was near 8pm the light started to go. With stopped for the day.
The evening meal was taken in the Dryanovo Hotel and this time the chef didn’t poison me. On return David made it through the rest of the film. By 11pm my head was on the pillow.