L’Air de Pigeons

Smelly ‘pigeon angels’ swirl in the sunlight

When I stuffed both phones down the leg of my leggings I hadn’t expected them to drop straight through and escape via my right ankle, but this is exactly what is happening as I come down from the attic, a bin bag in each hand. It’s also the moment when Baz calls for an update on the house, and I have to waddle quickly down in order not to fall arse over iphone

Ah, the newly created attic space has surpassed expectations, thanks to the big Velux windows. Well, it is beautiful and calming, and light enough that I can now wander around without fear of debris, or unseen rotten floorboards. These windows reveal the church tower, the tops of the hills beyond. And of course, those taller than me will get proper views

The downside? The filth is indescribable. I mop a small area and find the original terracotta floor tiles, which are in pretty good shape. But the grime is thick and I have already moved several bucket loads before realising that the rough stone walls first need a stiff brushing down first. As I sweep I can see, smell and taste nothing but pigeon detritus. The debris swirls thickly around forming ‘pigeon angels’ in the sunlight and my head jerks back involuntarily from time to time, unsure whether I’ll sneeze or spew. Luckily, it’s the formerIMG_9082

As the church strikes six, I’ve done five solid hours of this and no-one would know I’ve been in here. I am sure that once the dust re-settles I will have made almost no progress

Of course, this is not the update Baz wants, so I tell him of the views he’ll get from the windows, and of the newly-discovered flooring

The only person who’ll tell you that pigeons don’t cause damage inside your house is an estate agent who can’t be arsed to go and close the shutters once you have committed to buy, and who leaves your house open to the elements for months until you finally get the key and can take control of what is left. I had frequent nightmares thanks to that stupid man. So in the worst possible way I feel vindicated when I see the resulting rot in their regular roost spots (oh yes, and I need to scrub all those bits as well!)pigeon loft.JPG

I open the shutter of a glass-less l’oeil de beouf window to let out some dust and heat, but a homesick pigeon is calling a friend, and I close the shutter, stressed

Chicken wire, that’s what we need

And the spiders evicted from the attic? They’ve all joined Quinn by the garage tap, and I realise that I don’t even mind them very much anymore – as long as they keep off the floorIMG_9119.JPG

 

 

Author: poshbirdy

Art deco/ art nouveau maniac enjoying a deep and meaningful relationship with alcohol

12 thoughts on “L’Air de Pigeons”

  1. Repeat after me ‘it will be beautiful, it will be beautiful, it will be beautiful’ because it will and quicker than you imagine given the effort you are putting in. I know it feels like one step forwards two back and in fact, well, in fact it is but honestly it will be so so worth it. And I know you know that already – I’m just voicing it out of solidarity and respect 🙂 xx

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  2. I came here from Gill’s post (before replying to hers) and then thought about your situation and went scavenger hunting in my memory…did find an idea and then went looking. The guano is highly alkaline so what you need to break it down is something acetic…like cheap vinegar. I did find a page with instructions about car exteriors and dealing with droppings on them…a lot is complex, ignore that, there are some basics toward the bottom of the page. The nice thing about vinegar is you can always heat a small amount and put some fragrant herbs in it then add it back to the large container.
    Chances are one of the original ladies of the house used vinegar for all sorts of things since she didn’t have a supermarket down the road with all sorts of products.
    It can remove odors from rooms; some friends were batiking and left the fabric too close to the heater (wood heat) and it caught on fire. Not much damage but the odor!
    I have an old household hints book and it said vinegar and water in several pans or bowls. The friends, fresh out of college, didn’t believe it. But they were organic in their lifestyle so were willing to try it. I don’t know why it worked but it did.
    Those tiles really are great, hope they all turn out as well when cleaned up..

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    1. Thanks for that great tip, Gabriele. I will try that next time I go down to the house. And will report back if successful (always good to share as much useful info as poss). Much appreciated

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  3. I can feel both your commitment and frustration coming through this post.Why doesn’t anyone tell us French Restoration nutters just how much the ongoing filth gets you down?
    We are only just now beginning to see the light at the end of our mucky tunnel so I feel for you , I really do

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  4. Again-I admire your determination!! Sounds like a lot of work- but of course it will reward you in spades and be beautiful. We did a lot of renovation on our cottage- and still need to do more. Old houses really do require you to love them and believe in them- and even then they continue to have their damp spots and problems.

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  5. Oh dear.
    On the one hand, it is fabulous that you have beautiful tile already in your attic. We discovered the same in the attic of the apartments we’re renovating–the attic would be a palatial apartment in Paris, but in Carcassonne, it’s just an attic. In our own house, we put in a couple of Velux–our house is small and family lives far away, so they aren’t going home after dinner and we have to stick them somewhere and the attic is one solution. But we didn’t have pigeons. You have my utmost sympathy! Have a couple of glasses of wine to disinfect.

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