My dear blogging friend Hugh, to be found here, and if you don’t read his blog, do so forthwith, sent me a WhatsApp and in the exchange I said I was repainting the utility. ‘Use it as a prompt for a piece of flash,’ he says so I have. (He also said kept it to 250 words but…)
The utility didn’t really need painting but the dark patch was a bit annoying. We’d had it done when we moved in, with the kitchen and dining room and the dark patch had been there then, too. Historic damp, the surveyor had said. But it was dry to the touch and the guttering outside was in good nick, so we thought the historic piece as probably right. When the patch reappeared I asked a builder friend, Jonny, who said something about salts in the plaster causing the staining and recommended a trick of the trade: paint the patch with gloss then cover with emulsion.
So that’s what I’m doing. Two coats.
Odd thing, using gloss in the corner. The way the spotlights shine on it gives a strange shadowing, like there’s a frame there, or there was one and someone might have filled it in.
Probably where they had an extractor fan, Jonny said. Just rub it down to make sure it’s smooth. He paused, before adding that that could be where the damp’s coming in. It should have been filled in.
He recommended I tap it and, yes, it sounded hollow. Odd though, that on the outside there’s no sign of it ever having been there.
I’d still check it, if I was you, says the guru.
Story of my life, with DIY. Start one thing and the jobs just keep rolling in. Anyway, I took a hammer to it and sure enough there was an opening, just covered in plasterboard. Lots of dust too. As far as I could make out the outside of the cavity wall had been bricked up but not the inside. It was as I pulled away the bits of board that I saw it: the top of a little ladder going down into the cavity. I found a torch and held it on the hole, looking down into the cavity to see where the ladder went.
That’s when I saw the eye…
Maybe I should carry on. Do you have a prompt for me? Maybe a word or a picture? A genre? A word limit? If you do pop in the comments or mIl me the pic at firstname.lastname@example.org. and I’ll try and do a Story a day this month.