The pigeon poo is still there. An irregular dried-on patch of white that seems to represent much about coming back to London. And perhaps even London itself. A semi-permanent reminder of the city’s immutable grime and thoughtless waste. Even the crusty drips stop short, never arriving at their target; stopped in time.
I’ve decided that I’ll clean it up when I re-paint the window frame, which has now almost entirely sloughed its coat of paint. This winter it had a fierce raking from the Southwesterly winds which I guess bring with them the stray seagulls I see outside from time to time, swaying drunkenly on TV aerials. Now, only a few flakes hang on, not enough to hide the spongey interior.
There’s no point endangering myself twice over I tell myself. I’ll get to it soon. I always seem to have a paintbrush or filler in my hands nowadays, trying to cure the latest problem before another piece of the house falls off. We’ve become inner city landed gentry: leaking, peeling and cracking, and without the cash necessary to repair it all properly. Perhaps I can charge for tours. Or let the roof fall in and call the National Trust.
While we were away, staff at the now-pristine pub next door forgot to lock the door to the store-shed which abuts us, and someone has moved in. Someone who isn’t choosy about where they sluice unmentionable matter which I can smell as I come downstairs. I thought I'd make use of having a vulnerable daughter in tow and touted her in the pub to illustrate the health risk. They promised to fix it, but I have no faith in London promises.