The Machinist is concerned with the insufficient water drainage at our Shop. The Shop roof coverage is huge, which means we SHOULD get a river of water running into the two concrete water tanks when it rains. The trouble is - we don't, because the gutters, although surprisingly still in good condition, are full of ten year's worth of leaves and pine needles, - rotted down into moss covered thick sludge. The gutters run the whole perimeter of the Shop roof, but there are only four downpipes, so when the rain comes down, it simply spills up and over the gutters, sometimes seeping into the eaves, but more than often, - dripping onto the ground around the building's foundations.
I sense this is not good. No wonder some of the rooms have mouldy inner walls....
The stormwater drains at the bottom of each downpipe are too small to cope with a sudden, fast influx of rainwater, and the ground surrounding the drains - particularly at the back of the Grand's Cottage - makes a squishy sound when we walk on it. We have skidded a few times, too, on the mud rink.
I was not surprised, then, when the Machinist set up a ladder, and pushed me up the ladder to scoop the organic material out of the gutters. I didn't want to go up there, but he pushed me....rung by rung.
I have to tell you at this point that a gutter scooper simply does not work. It scoops the material along the gutter, but when you want to lift the scoop out of the gutter and toss your bounty to the ground with a satisfying splat, most of it falls right back into the gutter again. (A 38mm paint scraper and a flick of the wrist works much better!)
Scooping gutter crud by kneeling on a tin roof is hard on a girl's knees, too. Every meter or so, I had to stand, stretch and bend at the waist to scoop, with my butt in the air, just so that my knee caps could feel the blood rush through them once again. Rain, wind and cold wet patches on - ahem - the Machinist's track pants that I was wearing weren't motivating factors for the job, and soon enough, I became bored and decided to investigate the expanse of tin.
On my expedition, I came across a multitude of odd items; items one would not expect to find on a wet tin roof. I told myself off for forgetting to bring the digital camera with me (yet again); the Machinist would be riveted with pictures of my finds. Surely.
I began gathering the items and displayed them together on one of the tin roof sheets. Large stones (had someone been pegging the magpies and cockatoos?), broken glass from a bottle, many rusty screws with washers attached (why hadn't the roof repairer moved them?), a long, pointy nozzle applicator for a tube of silicone, a paint brush handle (no bristles attached), a rusty tin lid, an electric switch box, pieces of electric chord, scattered balls of magpie regurgitation, a vignette of moss covered chicken bones (I think they're chicken bones, but I've often been wrong about these matters), and larger, more fossilised bones.
I had been so consumed with my treasure hunt that I hadn't realised how close I was to the front awning, stretching over the old petrol bowsers and supporting the huge sign which reads
R E S T A U R A N T (and will one day soon read M E T A L S M I T H E R Y).
More on this tomorrow, for tonight, my lids are closing.... Please stay tuned.