Wednesday, 17 February 2010

on the roof

I was up a step ladder round at Marta's, fixing the thing that fits on the end of a gutter to stop it dripping onto the windowledge below. One pair of the ladder's feet was on the paving, the other was in the kitchen, and the ladder was at a bit of a jaunty angle. Marta held onto the ladder, just in case. "It's all slanty," she said; "How do you manage to stay on?"

"All those years of seafaring," I said.

On which subject, I listened to a dramatisation of Jack London's "Sea Wolf" on BBC Radio 7 last night. And then had nightmares about being back at sea again. It happens.

Eight years ago I was somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean about now, watching the stars and eating flying fish, and enjoying the company. So it wasn't all bad.

Marta's roof had moss growing on it, and it looked beautiful, especially with the pendant raindrops hanging off it.


  1. It is beautiful - and you managed to hang on to a wonky ladder and take a photo. All those years at sea weren't for nothing.

    We used to make miniature gardens when I was a child and moss was always an important feature along with a powder compact mirror for a pond

  2. I tried to take a photograph of a guy working on a roof with a whole roof covered like that in the south of France with typical shutters each side of the view.

    The stupid camera decide that the shutters each side were the point of interest! Had no idea it could focus way out there. Hated auto focus ever since.

    Take care on them wonky steps!

    Caroline xxx

  3. That's a beautiful shot, great depth of field.


  4. Moss is rather lovely, isn't it, Anji?
    I spent a while trying to grow a carpet of wall pepper on our lean-to kitchen roof, Caroline; but then some roofers did some fixing up there and uprooted it all. Most dispiriting. Wall pepper apparently has the folk name of "welcome home husband though never so drunk". It looks v cheerful on the drystone walls of the Mendips.

    Thank you, Stace! I want to go back with a macro lens...

  5. Lovely photo. The roof at the back of our house is thickly insulated with moss. The birds see it as a huge larder and go through it searching for insects. The lower patio is never completely clear, and I usually manage to fill a 2 gallon bucket with their tossings every couple of weeks. This feeds the compost bins, maintaining a steady supply of insects in search of a moss covered roof, and so the eternal cycle continues. Anyone got a broom?

  6. I guess this ties in with my dream early this morning (while my dog was out between 4 and 4:30) that Robert Graves came with his son and several young children, his son's and his, to repair my roof. Robert was a silent worker, his son conversational, the kids at home on the roof. It felt like Mallorca.