Tuesday, 11 September 2007

My brother Ned

Last night I had a long conversation with my younger brother, who, with his girlfriend, has just bought a house in London. Most of the chat was of how the previous owner had spent much of the past 40 years 'improving' the house and how expensive it was going to be to rectify.

Part of this was the heating system, which seems only to have had a low-med-high controller on the boiler, but no other thermostat at all. And no way to heat the water other than through the central heating, so even in summer, the heating had to be on. To mitigate this, there was no insulation whatever in the loft, and in fact there was also a 10 cm wide, metre long gap in the ceiling above the hot water tank, presumably to let all that excess heat out into the loft.

As well as replacing the heating system, they'll have to rewire, of course, and there are floors that need to be replaced and some work will have to be done on the roof. Begins to feel as though not much will be left untouched apart from the walls. Oh yes, and there's extensive replastering on the list of tasks.

Eventually we got away from housing disasters and he told me of a morris dancing trip to the west of Ireland he'd been on a year or two back. Inevitably there was a lot of drinking going on, supplemented by a still, erected in the street outside the pub, but the landlord himself.

This consisted of a household hot water tank with a gas ring beneath it, and a long pipe rigged up as a condensor, leading to a plastic bucket to catch the potcheen (sp?). You just dipped a plastic glass in and took some, far as I can tell. Neddie reported how his knees buckled when he took his first sip!

The best bit was the cops. The place was simply heaving with cops as well as revellers, yet it was amazing how they completely failed to *see* this totally illegal still, parked openly out in the street!


DJ Kirkby said...

I've just been on your's and your wife's website. Wow. Your art Rob...wow! Seriously impressed. Love the pic of your cat too. I spent some time habving a giggle over the Darwin car magnets, like them, will be pointing Chopper in that direction come Yule time.

Rob Clack said...

Thank you, thank you! As I said in a comment on some other post, I have a T-shirt with "Flattery driven!" emblazoned on the back!

I love your blog, especially the Muir quote at the top. And Wordless Wednesday, it goes without saying.

dulwichmum said...

I once used Poteen to remove nail varnish!