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The Landlady: Home manoeuvres …

The blocked gutter seems to have become magically unblocked. Whether it was the furious multiple attacks with a very expensive drain rod, or the lethal dose of equally pricey drain acid that did it, I neither know nor care, as long as water is no longer pouring through my light fitting all night long. All that remain are the ominous stains on my bedroom ceiling showing the exact path of the water, complete with several ox-bow lakes. Nothing that a bit of stain block and emulsion won’t sort out.

At the moment, I’m way too busy to be fiddling around with paint brushes and stain blockers as The Boyfriend and I are off to West Africa next week, where I am likely to see the sun for the first time since October. February is such a good month to go away, as it’s almost March when you get back, allowing you to eke out the optimism nurtured by the sun until springtime. By the time I return in mid-February, The Big Son will be part-way through a month in New York and Miami (we’re such nomads) with three of his best frien

ds, all of them equally easily led and not to be trusted where a bottle of spirits is concerned.
The tenant in my Seven Dials flat is going to the States for six months in March, three days after The Big Son returns from his travels (if indeed he has not succumbed to alcohol poisoning by then) and I have – foolishly or otherwise – decided to install The Big Son in my rental flat for six months. This means that my lovely tenant can leave his stuff in the flat, I can get in and decorate while he’s away and The Big Son can have a taste of peaceful living without being surrounded by a host of bad-tempered women. Furthermore, I can rent out The Big Son’s room for more or less the same price as I currently rent out the flat. Win-win, right?

 I am not at all worried about The Big Son destroying the flat or annoying the neighbours, as he is just about the tidiest person I know. The only thing that I have to admit being slightly concerned about is his propensity for ‘losing’ his key (thousands, over the years) and therefore not being able to get into the flat at 4am. I am fully expecting to find him asleep on my sofa at least once a week over the next few months. Well, they say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree ...