A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Sunday, 13 November 2011
The Sunday 'Ouch'.
In my neck-o-the-woods, the houses and their accompanying out-buildings are built from simple rough stone, with finer cut stones for the corners and openings. The stones are bound with a basic 'mortar' made of earth and, occasionally, lime. This is fine as long as the roof remains in good condition, but should a tile slip, the rain will soon penetrate the walls, and the 'mortar' wash away, causing them to crack and crumble.
Above is a classic example of what will happen. One can see a bodged attempt at repair at the top, and a hefty metal 'tie' between the front and back walls; neither of which will halt the building's demise once the interior 'mortar' has gone.
This building's exterior (this is not my house) has at some time also been 'pointed', but the danger for these old stone houses comes from above; not from the sides.
At my own home I keep a long forked stick, with which I push back into place any tile that has slipped. This needs to be done regularly each year, as the old 'Roman' tiles are easily dislodged; but it's nothing that the long stick and a ladder can't fix within a few minutes.
(N.B. Traditional Roman tiles are not fixed to anything. The lower concave tiles simply rest on a flat wooden surface, and the upper convex tiles sit over the top. Any rain falling on the upper tiles drips into the lower channel, then off to the edge of the roof).
A rough stone house is only as good as its roof (and, of course, its foundations), so as long as it's kept dry it should last for centuries. My own house is over 300 years old.
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!