I'm beginning to wonder how many times I'll have to write that things haven't turned out as badly as I feared before I begin to preempt this discovery and stop fearing the worst will always transpire...
LittleBear and I drove to the Lake District last Saturday, just over 250 miles with only each other for entertainment. Which meant that I spent 210 miles telling off-the-cuff dinosaur stories involving some very intelligent dinosaurs who appeared to invent the wheel and indoor plumbing while building their jungley homes (all under instruction from LittleBear who has Very Firm Ideas about how his stories should evolve). Needless to say, I had rather a dry, sore throat after this epic undertaking. At least it took my mind off the traffic. Despite the previous day's radio being filled with tales of woe and desperation from people stuck for hour after hour in tailbacks on the motorways, we (mostly) sailed through and arrived in time for a restorative exploration of the valley. This managed to include nine games of Pooh Sticks, of which I managed to only win 2, which was more or less acceptable to my competitive bear. But only just.
And on returning to the cottage and undertaking a more thorough inspection of all the reported defects, I concluded that nothing was really that bad after all. The mould on the bedroom walls was "only" surface mildew and was successfully washed off with a fungicide wash. The wallpaper is discoloured, but not in a disastrous soggy-and-peeling-from-the-walls fashion. The curtains are an absolutely perfect length, just skimming the carpet, despite BrotherBear's assertion that they were too long. The bathroom does not seem to have any manner of severe leak - in fact it appears to perhaps be condensation dripping from the back of the cistern, since we produced a scant couple of teaspoons of water on the floor overnight. And if it's condensation then how bad the drip is will simply depend on relative temperatures and humidity, so the visit from the Bear Cousins may have just been at an unfortuitous conjunction of climatic conditions.
So, I have now concluded that the wall does not need stripping and re-papering but have instead treated the walls with fungicide, painted one section with two coats of stain-blocking undercoat, ready to repaint with the top-coat shortly. I have also been a diligent bear and weeded the front yard to allow the grocery delivery to be made without the delivery-man having to use a machete to find the front door. Welsh poppies growing out of the front door step are pretty, but impractical.
The only fly in the ointment to date really has been the fact that my poor LittleBear was rather poorly, complaining of feeling sick, refusing to eat and developing an interesting pallor. Despite this, I followed my parents' finest traditions of dragging him out for health-giving walks. During which I then reaped the rewards of this perverse insistence and had to carry his feeble self home again. That should teach me.
On Monday Tigger, MrTigger and the two little Tiggers arrived, which
has meant I've barely needed to do anything to entertain LittleBear, as
he's devoted to BoyTigger, and wants nothing more than to play with him.
And since it's August, the rain is horizontal outside the window, but
there's lego all over the floor and a heap of dinosaurs in the corner,
while a Humboldt Penguin is flying up and down stairs to the
accompaniment of wild screams of delight from two small boys. And we're
about to venture out to the nearest cake purveying establishment. Seems
like a pretty good summer holiday to me.