Like all old buildings, ours needs a lot of upkeep. I know that, to my European and other ‘Old World’ readers, our building isn’t old. But by Kenora standards, it is one of the oldest. Well, part of it is. It is like some of the great European houses in that, over time, new bits have been added on. In this building’s case, none of the parts agree with each other. The front everyone sees is late Victorian/early Edwardian. The middle part, which is the oldest, was built about 1880 and has a Mansard roof. The last addition is at the back: 1950s in all its cinder-block glory.
I’m going to take you into part of the oldest building today. This is because it is the scene of unfolding drama. We all know that every good series needs some dramatic crisis to drive it forward, to keep viewers’ attention.
Our drama is in the roof. We discovered that part of it is missing and needs desperately to be replaced before the snow melts and the rain starts and the wood rots and the whole thing falls down on our heads. If that isn’t drama, then I don’t know what you’re looking for.
But it gets worse.
Elizabeth has formed a PLAN. If she needs to go to the expense of putting on a new roof, then maybe, she thinks, she should convert the attic into a Studio. That’s a special room where she and Bonnie can put their artists’ supplies and go to paint pictures to sell in the shop. Elizabeth thinks that she should put a little garret window in the roof. Something about ‘north light’.
What’s wrong with that, you ask. Well… to put the window in, she needs to get a bit of other work done on the inside, first.
Elizabeth says she is partly responsible. But some of it has been here since 1976. She says the very sight of it has been so discouraging with everything else she has to do that she just hasn’t been able to face it.
But now, she thinks she can take it on.
She started yesterday.
She says that she can do it now because now she has a goal and purpose. And now I’ve mortified her by making her terrible secret public on Downton Kenora.
I’m taking bets in The Foyer, but only while Bonnie’s there and Elizabeth is otherwise occupied with her new project.
I’ll resume the tour next episode and let this pot simmer as it may.