Sunday, 17 August 2008


This week I have been managing the work arising from an outbreak of dryrot in the kitchen. Inevitably in an old house, which had not had a great deal done to it for years, we had had some water penetration which had resulted in dryrot in some of the roof timbers. In turn their removal meant that spores from this blasted fungus were spread through out the house – I'm afraid the Czech builders were not overcareful about how they managed the process.

We decided on replacing all the roof timbers and some of the ceiling timbers upstairs as well. We also set about trying to prevent any sort of water penetration – digging a drainage ditch at the back (more of that at some other date) and protective soakaway around the other three walls. A well was installed in the cellar and the house's problems with damp did indeed seem to be solved.

However we did not allow for the inability of our plumber to tighten any pipe properly. Time and again we have had to call him back to a leaking joint. One such leak was unbeknownst to us dripping down the back of the kitchen sink unit and into the wooden unit and floor beneath. A month ago we left the house empty in a period of hot humid weather. The result – you've guessed it – a fine display of fungal bloom. Now as regular readers of this blog will know I am a great lover of mushrooms, but my love is limited to those you can collect and eat. I draw the line at dryrot.

My one consolation is that the kitchen unit, which will have to be burnt, also has a sorry history attached to it. It was created (beautifully I might add) by our errant carpenter, who delivered the unit half finished nearly two years ago and has never come back to finish it. I have been battling in my mind whether to give him up as a bad job (and either get another kitchen or get someone else to finish it) or keep waiting. My decision has now been made for me.

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