A SOGGY patch of wallpaper on Jo’s bedroom wall led me to surmise that our farmhouse is not quite the bastion against wind and rain that I thought it was. It is, of course, nothing compared to the threat to homes of flooding which has been such a feature of this summer. But the discoloured streaks of sodden wallpaper and, worst of all, wet patch on the new bedroom carpet, alerted us to the possibility of a problem with our roof.

So up the ladder went John to find the problem. And it appeared quite a number of the roof tiles needed replacing. Our double rolled pantiles are laid in rows so that the downturn of one tile overlaps the upturn of the next. This way rain is is channelled to the centre of the tile and down the roof to the gutter. But many of our tiles were loose and broken, and on closer inspection, the battens underneath were decayed and therefore the tiles, out of line.

As the house is too close to an outside power line to safely put up any scaffolding, John, with his trusty builder’s mate passing him tiles, hammers and battens through the bedroom window, repaired the roof.

Now we just hope the roof is watertight again and find some matching wallpaper to repair the water damage. Not that we needed any more stress this week as, thanks to our eldest daughter leaving her dog with us, after our youngest daughter left her dog Poppy with us for the preceding fortnight, I have had enough stress to last for a few months.

Blue, Bryony’s dog, is a gangly young Labrador. Bryony has gone off to the Edinburgh Festival, and so we have been left with an oversexed juvenile who is keen to form an intimate acquaintance with our three bitches. It is a logistical nightmare keeping them all apart, and I shall be putting a bill in for a repaint on some doors which Blue has tried to scratch his way through. He is far too keen to get to know Moss, our spaniel and Millie, the terrier, who it appears quite fancy him too. Luckily Fizz, our sheepdog, has already decided she hates him with a vengeance and snaps and snarls at him if he comes within 10ft of her.

Fortunately, we do have outside runs and kennels, but on balance I am keeping our dogs in those and Blue, who is more of a house dog than they are, in the farmhouse. Moss, Fizz and Millie are not impressed. But neither would I be if any intimacy occurred.