You Have to Smile or “On Top of the Wardrobe”?
I received a phone call from an elderly couple who are residents in the Billing Ward asking for help with two issues they have with their home in Trussel Road, issues which they agreed I could share because they found the whole situation amusing and to their mind an incredulous reflection of the Northampton Borough Council.
The first issue was to ask for a ‘prickly’ bush to be removed from the side of their house which has encroached and is obstructing the footpath causing a hazard to their young grandchildren because of the ‘needles’ on the branches.
This brings me to the issue that has caused the amusement, namely that the couple had reported that they have damp in their bedroom and to a lesser extent also in the kitchen and front room?
Damp as most people know can be detrimental to the health of those who live in homes affected and I should explain that both residents are over 70 and have on-going physical health problems though as I discovered they remain very sharp and can see the funny side of things, which is the hallmark of that generation.
To their credit the Borough Council despatched a member of staff to investigate the issue and took with him as it was described to me, “his little damp testing meter”, which detected damp in the bedroom at ceiling level and on top of the wardrobe and to a lesser extent also in the kitchen and front room.
What was reported next is the crux of the issue with the gentleman telling me that they had been told in answer to asking what was causing the damp and how can it be cured,
“the damp in the bedroom is due to your heavy breathing when in bed at night”!!!
It was at this point that the lady couldn’t contain her amusement saying
“Oh to be young again”, “but not on top of the wardrobe”?
I think to their credit what then took place could only in old-fashioned terms be called a slightly ribald conversation that was so funny simply because they had obviously taken it in good part and had a great sense of the ridiculousness of a situation that they thought was serious enough, as it is, to report it.
Of course the issues still need to be addressed, but it was great to talk to people who still retain a sense of humour even in the difficult times pensioners are facing.
Perhaps the last word should rest with the residents,
“Of course it’s ridiculous but we’ll take it as a compliment after over 45 years of marriage”