Blackheath Chronicles 3

There is a delightful poem by Barbara Schreiner, which I’m often reminded of when things in my home break down and fall apart. It is called “Old Madam Entropy”

Here are some of it’s delightful lines:

“One morning the tap decides

in a spluttering mood of peeve

Not to close anymore


Like ancient water torture

Onto the reverberating drum of the kitchen sink

You sit down, annoyed

And the chair rocks like a boat on the ocean waves

Last night

While you slept

She stole the glue from its joints

And now it holds up your aging joints

By willpower alone”

  • Restless Dreams and Broken Hearts, Barbara Schreiner, 2015

If you’ve ever bought your dream house, the fixer upper with two en-suite bathrooms and a family bathroom, I am sure that regret also entered your life. This regret comes from having no budget, or in my case, refusal to apply budget wisely to banish plumbing problems from your home. You think you got a bargain from the bargain plumber, which results in a bath that drains slowly and taps that are made of plastic instead of the sturdy stainless steel you think was part of the deal. 

The insides of toilet cisterns decide to break and you, taking your sweet time to address the small problems end up with two bathrooms that are minimally functional. 

I count my blessings, I have no structural problems or mold. I do have a roof to replace as Old Madam Entropy has done her work there too.

I’d rather buy the new sewing machine than to spend my money on the plumbing disasters in my home…. sigh. My priorities frustrate my mother, who is house proud. Her side of our home is not allowed to submit to entropy in any shape or form. She buzzes like a bee around a problem and it is fixed within a week, maybe two, if the problem needs many phone calls and quotes.

I’m grateful for lockdown because I can’t have people over except my family who know me and understand my issues with spending money on things that break. Lockdown will end though, at some point. I will want to have friends over and entertain again in the future. The clock is ticking – well it did tick until it stopped. Buying a new clock was on my shopping list this week. Instead I bought 3 new books and no clock. You see where this is going? I shall write no more.