I was sitting outside chatting with our Thatcher yesterday. As you can see from the picture he has had to strip the old thatch off completely at the back of the house. The previous owners went the lowest quote last time and it never pays to do that. The straw had been tied with string in yard widths rather than pegged with willow stakes every half yard; consequence an expensive re-thatch ten years early. The work had exposed the full length of the chimney, normally disguised by the depth of the thatch. Now when the normal patterns of sight are disturbed you often see things in a new light; cross the eyes when looking a wall of scribbling or hexies has the same effect.
The think I noticed was the television aerial, and the insight I had was that we haven’t used it in years. Television comes via the satellite dish tucked to a hidden corner round about where the visible ladder hits first floor level. The radio comes via the internet or pod casts. So why di we have a massive 15 foot pole stuck onto the top of a charming Wiltshire thatched cottage? No reason being found I got out the wire cutters and with the aid of the Thatcher and his son (this is a craft that runs through generations) we had it off in half an hour with only one minor scare involving a possible encounter of a too rapidly descending aerial with a rather expensive range Rover parked on the street.
I went out this morning to take the above picture and found that I am now incensed with out neighbour mast (to the right) for destroying the line of the roof. I was also thinking of some of those iconic images, like the cat sat at roof in the old opening scenes of Coronation Street, with television aerials dominating the skyline. More memories then of when there were only three (then four) channels to watch and the whole family would site down together in front of the tele after a dinner eaten together. Key programmes became part of the family history and its private language. In our more atomistic and fragmented days eating together seems very rare, only at Christmas or if we go out and everyone watches different things in their rooms at different times.
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