24 Sept 2010

Hestia v the window

Can one come round and close my effing window, please?
This was not how I planned to spend my child-free Friday night, believe me.  I was plunking away at the pc, googling inexpensive hotels in central London for our forthcoming 4-day adventure to the capital and I spotted a huge bumble bee struggling at the window.

Consumed with buddhist-like compassion for my fellow creature, I opened the window and flapped him out - and therein began my troubles.

I could not get the window to close again.  Not even with my entire (ample) bodyweight lugging on the fittings.  It's catching on the window frame about an inch out (don't ask me to describe my victorian windows, but they are very old and VERY fucking annoying).

After a good twenty minutes tugging and sweating, I thought that lubrication might be an idea.  Don't laugh.  I ventured downstairs to the kitchen and got....butter.  I spread on lashings of lightly-salted onto the frame and the window wood.

And yanked.  And yanked.  And yanked.  Not a blind bit of difference.

So I looked out the sandpaper.  It would possibly have been a better idea to try sand papering it before I buttered it.  Plus, they are small and narrow windows that open outwards - so I was twisted very awkwardly trying to sand.  I rubbed and rubbed and rubbed and rubbed.  And prayed.

And yanked. And yanked. And yanked.  Not a fecking nanometer further in......

I thought I should nip next door and ask H, my nextdoor neighbour if he could possibly pull it closed for me.  But they're out!  I phoned J&M to see if I could borrow M for 10 minutes to get some closure on this window business - out!!  My day carer and her hubby are away in London visiting her son.....I have run out of men to close the window.  I contemplate phoning round to the station to see if Bert the policeman is on.  Bert is massive.  I decide that it would not be an appropriate use of police resources.

It's now half past seven at night and I'm hanging out the window like the Lady of Shallott, but with sandpaper and a stream of blue invective, entirely directed at the bee whose fault it is that I'm in this position.

Truly, I don't have a clue what to do.  If it rains....actually, I don't want to think about that.

Update - my lovely neighbour came in and gave it his best shot - nothing.  He left to get some lubricant (not butter) and returned a few minutes later.  Then the phone rang - Tertarus calling all the way from Mexico..... and somewhat pained to hear my panicked tirade that ran loosely like this:

There was a silence, so pregnant with weariness that you could hear it all the way from South America:

'I'm so VERY glad that I called.' *pause again for maximum guilt trip*

I consider telling him to piss off back to his engine room, but instead I tell him what a marvellous time we're going to have in London next month.  He is suspiciously unenthusiastic.  He will be home, won't he? He PROMISED that he would be home.  He assures me that he will be home.  But I am not convinced.....

Further update:  My lovely neighbour eventually managed to close the window for me - with a sharp crack like gunfire.  The window will remain closed until Tertarus comes home to Do Something With It.  It will also probably not surpise you to find that when I was sorting out yesterday's sweater, this morning, I found the goddamned BEE on it....it must have latched on to me when I was trying to fling him out the window.  So, again I had to open a bedroom window to give it a shot at freedom.

A different window, you understand.


  1. Ahh, the joys of Victorian houses! Hope you manage to get it shut. Though if it leads to further amusing tweets and blogs, at least it's for a good cause, sort of ;-D

  2. Dear Ali, I'm always saving bees and spiders too.

    The "should have sandpapered it before I'd buttered it" cracked me up. I find a good squirt of WD40 does the trick on an old window. Good for a creaky bed too.

    If you need some help with hotels, I can get a deal in a few places. How exciting! Have a fab weekend and watch those windows! xx

  3. PS. There's a blog tag over at mine for you. It's about fashion, can't wait to see what you do with it xx

  4. don't know who's in the worst predicament - you or the guy in the gorgeous house in living etc; all-electric-control doors and windows, but wired up to default to WIDE OPEN in event of powercuts... oh, won't the local burglars just love him!

    hope you've got that window shut by now - my worst horror is the moths that stupidly come in to any open window at night aaarrrggghhh!

  5. Victorian windows are a bastard. Beautiful to look at, but generally annoying and ill fitting! And draughty. Imagine how cold victorian people were, with only their fires to keep them warm.

    I am particularly annoyed at ours today as it is 7 degrees today and i'd quite like some heat to stay in!

  6. What you need next time is
    A.a glass
    B.a sheet of strong paper or card.

    Place the glass carefully over the bee/insect.
    Slowly slide the card under the glass thus forming a seal and trapping said bee in glass
    Walk self satisfyingly to door or other means of exit
    Liberate bee

    (The voice of experience speaketh)

  7. I've been down at an old boatyard all weekend cleaning "the canny lass"s bottom (ooh er) and nearly fell off the side of the boat laughing at the butter and sandpaper comment. You crack me up Ali.

  8. Legend - the worst part is it was all true. I buttered and then sandpapered. No wonder Tertarus look permanently bemused.

    NS - the little fecker can just die, the next time.

    LM - sash and case windows are not good in Scottish climate! I think that's why they only had about 3 changes of clothes - too bloody cold to get their kit off.

    Trashsparkle - a wee moth is a lovely thing. Like a butterfly with slippers on.

    Christina - I fessed up and did it for you :-)

    Chloe - we'll get our reward in heaven. Or a 24 hour joiner.

    Ali x


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