Covivid Tales: The House is Falling Down

Booze time!

The back of our house is falling off, sliding slowly into brick death, and the insurance company is a phone maze with goodness knows what at the end of it? But things could be worse.

Our semi-detached house was built in 1932 as part of an avenue that butted up against a huge council estate. The avenue, however, prefers to think of itself as a part of “village”. I imagine the house thinks of itself as quite the gent. It is, however, a drunken gent with his arse hanging out of his trousers as he leans on a lamppost at the moment.

There are cracks through which you can see daylight, and those are upstairs. The cracks downstairs are the size of hellmouths; you can hear the wailing of the lost souls through them.

“Woooooe”, they scream, “where is the underpinning of our damned souls?” they ask in agony.

“Woe! We are having to deal with the insurance company for all eternity, the pain! The insane, endless holding music! The stonewalling demons pitchforking us from voice to voice! Woe!”. 

That second voice of the damned is my wife’s.

That being said, at least we have our health and A Level grades, and we don’t have Boris  Johnson camping with Carrie and little Winston at the bottom of the garden where the dog goes to shit. 

Talking of things going to shit, the sports team I recently decided to through my lessening weight behind due to insomnia has had to postpone all play for an undisclosed period due to two members testing positive for Covid 19. Yes, in the most New York Mets move for some years, the New York Mets visited Florida (a failing, plagued, partially demented state that mirrors its beloved President Trump in many ways) won some games, and got infected.

I think it was probably winning three games of baseball that had laid them low but I’m only as expert in epidemiology as the next woolly, liberal arts graduate, so what do I know? 

Back to the house. The front is in fine shape, no one strolling by on the avenue of lime and plane trees would imagine that the back of it has less stability, less structural integrity than English education system. 

We’re waiting for it to fall down so we can sit upstairs looking out at the sunset, drinking cold beers (not me, I gave up booze and fags two months ago, and life has never been to clear sightedly monotonous. True, it’s healthy but its also very, very grey and predictable… like most professional sportspeople, if you exclude the New York Mets that is).

Myself and my wife – she’s the professional, smart one. I write blogs – could sit up there, dangling our legs out of the gaping wound in the back of our home, taking in the view across York, and waiting to be transferred to the next minor demon in the insurance company’s purgatory. 

“It’s subsidence caused by your next door neighbour’s Satanic rituals every Tuesday night”, they’ve said. “Satanic rituals” or “Elder bushes” one of those things. It isn’t, by the way. Hecate and the rest of the Royal Bastard Insurance and Torture Company are wrong there. 

My wife’s watched all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (movie and YV series) several times, and she knows Satanic subsidence when she sees it. We’re convinced it’s more likely that the house is dying of some exotic rotting disease brought on by urban foxes and tourists having bad sex at the back the local Asda.

Meanwhile, my insomnia continues with the kind of commitment to its job of fucking things up night after night, consequently day after day that any British government minister would find commendable if not a statutory requirement for any position in cabinet.

As I said at the top though, things could be worse. We could have no view to look forward to. The city we live in could be an infected zone full of TV news crews cruising for tears and inspirationally aged ex-servicemen, or children saying wise yet quirky things about the Covids and immigrants taking all the A Level results.

So, chins up, and we have a couch, a safety net below, a picnic and a decent playlist ready for when the inevitable happens.


This old house.


Tim Smith

I write for money. Have done for decades. I've written about music, sport, cooking, games. I'm also a data miner who knows one end of a taxonomy from another. Feel free to get in touch.