Island Blog – Drips, Droops and Defiance

I got drips. No, sorry dad. I have drips, less than of old but drips nonetheless. I quite like hearing the plash of each one falling into the enamel jug placed in place. I had to poke a hole in the plaster above the window recess last year. Actually, I have to do that poking thing every year until the plaster sags like an old woman with little to define her younger contours. I pull it all down, revealing the hen stone, the beginning of this sturdy place, the stones that protect me and many before me and then I reach out to a plasterer and the whole thing begins again. However, there used to be buckets here some 19 years ago, and everywhere, in doorways, mostly in doorways where an old 3 foot wall argued with the efficacy of whatever modern attachment attached itself. Poorly, it seems. Windows allow ingress, depending on the wind direction and puddles appear on floors. I look up. Seems logical but nothing is logical around drips. Water will in, no matter how clever you are and in homesteads built circa 1830 you are battling with just too much and it is so much better to catch the plash rhythm and to dance with it.

I empty the jug once, twice daily depending on the wind direction. It slightly bugs me that the wind has all the say in the matter, but then there is always someone who has all the say in the matter and I know that place. The rest of us work around the sayer, to a degree. We are canny, nonetheless, finding a dance that works for us, that makes the situation less rigid. I look around the rest of my room, of my home. No leaks. Just this jug-gler one, controlled until the plaster comes down. Accepting what is, even recognising and then acknowledging it, is what works for me. I have, with builder help, found the source of many leaks. This one is challenging me. She, must be a ‘she’, is telling me something. Check the outside. Check the mortar. In the olden days, there was lime in the mortar. This building could have housed King George 1V, had he travelled to the islands. Lime was a marvellous thing back then, as all new things are marvellous until they’re so not.

As we move from the old to a new we really don’t want, there will be leaks. I leaked today, here, in the wind and rain and alone. There is nowhere for these tears to go. I drooped, I confess. We face, and we do ‘face’ an uncertain future. Our fears, our lime mortar is crumbling. Our resolution is to dance but we also need to dig deep into the truth of what life is, this new life. We can decorate the inside, jug up the leaks, play positive and all that is really important, just as long as we get what is happening and grab it by the throttle. This is how it is. This is Defiance. The knowledge of what is and the fight for freedom in spite of it.

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