by Franci Hepburn
They say I live in a castle on the hill, but they don’t know. Torrential rain outside, but no water in the house. I close the mains at the bottom of the property- till I can find someone who can detect the leak and fix it for free. I carry three buckets of rainwater upstairs to fill the cistern. I count the stairs. Ten of them. Three times ten and back. Sixty stairs. Two arms around the bucket. One point of contact, one foot at a time. Next time I’ll use the guest toilet closer to the back door where I must duck because the roof leaks like a shower, which I can’t have.
Water dripping down the ceiling trips the kitchen lights, so I cook by torchlight. I wear a coat and boots at the dinner table, a blanket around my feet, which I can’t feel. At least the ambient light is romantic; only one of the twelve globes work. I eat my Aldi pie in silence, alone. But hey, I have Royal Doulton toilets, a million-dollar view of the city, six bedrooms, a terrace, a balcony, a solarium, a studio, a James Bond bathroom with gold tiles, a circular bath as big as a pool and a house I cannot sell.
About the author