Jonathan: There’s a leak in the roof at #8Askernish that’s proving difficult to trace and fix. Indoors there’s a damp patch in the kitchen ceiling, that gets wetter and drips into the kitchen sink (thank heaven for small mercies!) whenever there’s a strong wind carrying heavy rain from the W or NNW. Outdoors – no obvious fault. The wind could be driving rain under the slates (the roof over the kitchen has a fairly gentle slope), but we’ve sealed the gaps between slates with special sealant, doing more each another storm has shown the previous fix to be insufficient: we’ve now treated all the slates in that part of the roof! The latest storm (still battering and blustering by turns) has wetted the ceiling again; but exploring in the roof void we can see how far the damp has spread on the rafters, but not where it gets in. Exasperating! We’ve another explanation and treatment to test, but it’ll need another storm before we know whether it has worked and whether we can put the ceiling to rights ; and we’ve already had more than twice our winter ration of storms!! At least the damage inside is not great, and won’t really affect guests if we can’t get if fixed for sure in the next fortnight or so.
I think it was the first recorded music I ever had. Mum and Dad had bought me a cassette recorder for my 14th birthday. A few months later it broke down, and when it came back from repair (Hah! these days they’d just send you a new one!) there was – bizarrely – a pre-recorded music cassette loaded. “Aqualung” by some band called Jethro Tull (to me just a name from history lessons). Until then all I knew was the music of the church choir, musical films, and such like. I thought Aqualung it was good, and in fact now realize it must have been quite an influence on me. There are – arguably – three musical genres to Aqualung that have over the years proved to be the arteries of my musical sensibility: folk, rock and blues. Recently I’ve been filling some gaps in our music collection that opened up when, in the 1990s, Denise and I migrated from vinyl to CD, losing some old friends along the way; but today one such gap has been made good with a used but perfect CD of Aqualung bought on ebay. My goodness it really was – and is – a classic! Original, distinctive, profoundly musical, witty, moving: truly inspiring, and a great listen from beginning to end. I got off to a good start, didn’t I? All thanks to someone at the electronic repairs firm who is probably this moment blogging about the time he lost the first ever and best ever pre-recorded audio cassette he’d ever bought – Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung”.
It’s only the giving that makes you who you are
Jethro Tull, 1971 : Aqualung – Up to Me