Several weeks ago, I came home from the shop to find two strange men in my lounge with a sheet on the floor, covered in a load of mess. Typically illustrating the lack of communication which often occurs in our house, partly due to having children and dogs everywhere, with the result we are never able to finish a conversation without being interrupted and too much going on generally, my husband had failed to inform me that he had organised some chimney sweeps to clean out our chimney.
Not that we have a real fire, but last year a jackdaw family had nested in our chimney pot. It was very noisy I can tell you, as the babies insisted on ca-cawing loudly down it at all sorts of odd hours of day and night. When they finally vacated, like troublesome squatters they left a deluge of sticks, mess and rubbish which blocked our chimney entirely.
In due course, the sweeps brushed out the debris and disappeared.
‘They offered to block the chimney while they were here, so that the birds couldn’t nest in it this year,’ remarked my husband over dinner that night.
‘Great,’ I replied. ‘That will sort the problem out.’
‘Well, no,’ he said indignantly, ‘they wanted £100 to go up on the roof and block it. I wasn’t paying that.’
Oh dear. So the chimney remained clear for the next generation of tenants to set up house this year. Of course, I did mention to my husband that perhaps we should sort it out before Spring but somehow as always we didn’t get round to it. As we are currently having building work done to sort out a leaky conservatory and mouldy larder, my thrifty husband suggested asking one of the roofers to pop a chimney guard in while he was up there. The kind man did as he was asked last week, refusing all payment other than the obligatory coffee and biscuits. So the chimney is blocked putting an end to our bird problems. Or so we thought….
The other day I was having my usual early morning shower to try to wake myself up, when I became aware of a loud clanging and bonging which sounded like the water pipes. It didn’t stop when I got out – in fact I could hear it in my room and on the landing. As we are having building work, I asked one of the friendly builders why the pipes were making such an awful noise.
‘Don’t worry love,’ he said cheerily, ‘y’often get clanking pipes during a build, probably some pressure changes in the system.’
I thought no more of it until the next morning, a nice Saturday lie in when I was rudely awoken by the bonging pipes. ‘I asked the builders about those pipes the other day,’ I commented to my husband, ‘I thought they would have stopped by now.’
‘What pipes?’ he asked, puzzled.
‘That weird bonging noise.’ I replied
He laughed – ‘that’s the birds on the roof silly.’
I couldn’t believe it. So now to add to the usual chaos in our house, we have musical birds who are experts on playing the ornamental chimney guard. The last laugh is on us, as our evicted tenants make their sentiments well and truly known….I guess I will have to get used to it – it is sort of tuneful I suppose… at least I can type in time to the bonging…..