Picture of the Day: Loft thing – Leamington Spa [2012]

Picture of the Loft thing
Sighing like a monster

In 2012 I was living in a flat on the outskirts of lovely Leamington Spa, a picturesque Georgian town with lots of history and a grid system, with the then nearly-Mrs-Gnomepants V2.0 . The flat was a post war construct but had some modern trimmings such as central heating.

The thing with houses and flats is you get used to the sounds they make the longer you live in them. Sometimes these noises can be unique – particular to a location, a room or a function. The way a door closes. The way the water runs through the pipes. The way the floorboard creaks. How the neighbours sound. Each noise distinctive to the occupant. Sometimes subtly, other times in-your-face-obvious. The flat in Leamington Spa was no exception.

A particular sound that could be heard in the Leamington Spa flat was an almost imperceptable sigh from the attic when the heating switched from timed hot water only to hotwater and heating. It was like an asthmatic squirrel living in the attic. I could often hear it and know, safely, that the heating had come on gone off. Others might not have heard it though and would often think of my central heating predictions as some element of my weirdness.

So when the sigh ceased and the radiators started to glow red. I knew there was something up. Taking to the loft via a rickety ladder I was able to determine that the mysterious sigh used to come from the motor in the switch valve which had failed and was forcing the hot water into the heating system.

As handy as I am, I donned my flat cap, put a rolled up cigarette on my bottom lip and stood at the bottom of the ladder sighing, tutting and generally looking quizical. Then, after three mugs of tea (extra strong), several looks through the Sun newspaper (upon which I had drawn phalluses and spectacles on people in the photographs) and an impromptu 3 hour trip to the corner shop for some vital parts, I nipped up the ladder and took this photograph.

I then explained the problem to the Then-soon-to-be-Mrs-Gnomepants v2.0, pointed out that there was not much call for that kind of thing these days, sucked air through my teeth and said “It’s gonna cost ya”. The photograph was then sent on to a more experienced central heating engineer/plumber who, having been pleased to see such good investigative work and standing round, had the failed unit replaced in a fraction of the time and only one cup of tea.


After last nights events I told the wife it would only take one more major incident and I’d be moving back to Liverpool or somewhere (though not down south because its too tense there…maybe somewhere up north and rural like Berwick on Tweed or Barnards Castle). Anyway, she agreed with my sentiments but I think she thinks I’m over reacting.

I feel like I’ve won the lotto only to find the money I won is tainted with the blood and lives of millions of innocent victims of genocide. The house is lovely, Brierley and parts of Yorkshire really picturesque. I just wish there were better jobs and the nasty thieving scum bag people would all get taken to some far off place (like Felixstowe or Colchester) to spend their time with their hands behind their back, on their knees with bags over their heads and abused by shouty military type people. Without trial….like they do in other countries…

Jill, the wifes bosses wife, called last night too. She was with the wife when they realised the car had been burnt out. She called to give the wife the number of the police station so that she could report the damage to the car. Jill runs the drama group, I volunteer at, at the wife’s work, outside of which the car was pinched.

Jill: And that’s the number. Its terrible what’s happened
stegzy: Yes it is. But what to do eh?
Jill: Will you be at drama Thursday night?
stegzy: As long as I’ve got somewhere safe to park my car…yes.

Electrical work is almost complete. I was pleased to capture a car on the Gate cam at 4am this morning thanks to the sparkly new security light. Turns out it was G-the-human-dog on his way out to the flower market. (He’s organising a funeral for his mother in law who died the other night). I’m really impressed with the way that the camera works. I might fork out the £20 for the actual software licence….unheard of I know!

Kitchen: More Saga than an old peoples holiday resort

Plasterer – Hello. I was going to come and finish the plastering tomorrow but I am having to work in Wigan this week.
Wife – Oh
Plasterer – I can come at the weekend
Wife – We’re away
Plasterer – Oh
Wife – But we can arrange for someone to be here
Plasterer – Yayy
Wife – Woo
Plasterer – I’m really sorry for messing you around. If you get the tiles and stuff I’ll tile your kitchen for 40 quid.
Wife – Woo yayy hoopla!

Ah well….another week of take aways and microwave meals. At this rate I’ll be dead by the time the kitchen is finished.

I blame fj_warren.


Guess what?

The shelves are too high for tiny wives. So kitchen people are back to remove the top cupboards.

This is a boon though because it also means that the plasterer will be able to replaster the wall all nice but the plaster will have to dry for a few days before we can put the cupboards back up, Thursday probably. Just when I thought I had a nice new kitchen…..Theres still loads of tidying to do, but yesterday we managed to put a great deal of stuff back onto the shelves but the house is looking kind of back to what it was. I think I should have it all done by Wednesday.

In other news, the house is now 80% dust free in preparation for our impending visitations. Friday will see a visit from my olds, which will be great cos I haven’t seen them in ages and Saturday, if all is still going to plan, Nick & Sarah will be coming over the Pennines on a visit, I’m really looking forward to seeing them both and using my new kitchen to cook up a feast beyond all imaginations.

I also nearly did something very silly today. I topped my car up with oil but neglected to screw the filler cap back on. Fortunately I’d only driven to the end of the drive when I realised. :-S Close call!

Busy busy….I don’t feel like I’ve had a weekend this weekend *yawn*


The kitchen is but a shell of a room. It’s plaster removed to the brick. The units are scattered and dismantled. The living room has a nice new dishwasher, oven and fridge in shiney boxes. It’s gonna be fun and games. Wifey is a bit poorly though and the noise and dust probably wont help.

Plasterer said the existing plaster on the walls is in too bad a condition for him to do a good job so has suggested we replaster each wall room by room. Therefore a tactical meeting was held and the order of action is as following –

Kitchen – Living Room – Main Bedroom – Bathroom – Dining Room – Back bedroom – Hall and Landing. The pantry will also need doing at some point.

Everything is running to schedule though so I am pleased. Especially as the kitchen will be ready in plenty of time for Nick & Sarah’s visit in December…I’m so looking forward to cooking in my new shiney kitchen 😀

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