Up Amidst The Branches

I’ve been telling everyone who’ll listen, and a fair few who won’t, that I seem to seek out the most difficult way of doing any given task.

It’s probably true of my radio series and it’s certainly true of the treehouse.  Yesterday Nick and I tiled half the roof.  We stopped when we ran out of shakes (the tiles I have made are strictly speaking oak shakes rather than shingles by virtue of their having been split rather than cut).

That’s the pile I had made.  It seemed to take an awfully long time.  I now have to make another three hundred in order to do the other half of the roof.

The longer it takes the colder it’ll probably be when we get back up there to finish the job.

I have to confess it did feel fairly precarious clinging onto the roof.  It’s about twenty to twenty five feet up.  There was a lot of swearing, largely because of nails that refused to come out after shakes had gone on wrong but also because of my thumb which is now slightly blackened.  Nick didn’t swear when he hit his fingers.  I find swearing helps.  It probably doesn’t help those listening but it makes my thumb feel better.

In any case the pain was not in vain.    The roof looks fantastic, thoroughly mediaeval, but more than that, thoroughly human.  There’s something deeply pleasing about things that bear the mark of human hands and not machines.  They are organic.   They have soul.  And with luck this little treehouse roof will outlast me.

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