Home life

Up on the roof

On Saturday I went up on the roof of my house for the first time. Not for anything in particular, but just to see if I could, and to admire the view.

The kids stood by, Isaac in particular making worried noises about the steadiness of the ladder, and the strength of the polycarbonate verandah roof I had to get across to get onto the roof proper. Peter had assured me although it might bend, it would be strong enough to hold my weight. All the same I decided to only step where there was a wooden support underneath. It did bend, which I must say didn’t do wonders for my confidence.

On the roofView from the roof

Once up, the view of suburbia isn’t too bad. The lower rear part of the roof isn’t very steep, though it gets steeper as you go further up (or at least it feels that way). Not that I was feeling nervous you understand, but I elected on that occasion not to climb all the way to the top.

Okay, so I must admit that when it all comes down to it, I’m not outstandingly good with heights.

Instead of climbing to the peak, I cleaned some of the gunk off the kitchen skylight, though in retrospect it’s made little difference.

And despite portents of doom from the kids (who assured me they were ready to call Emergency) I made it down okay.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “Up on the roof”

Heights don’t worry me, or I thought so until I froze when painting our Balaclava house roof. I had finished it, just had to paint my way off, but I was too scared to go up or down. I think I bellied across painted roof sideways but a few inches up each move until I got to the ridge and had something to hang on to and there was the drop to the flatter roof extension.

You look confident enough with a roof tiler stance.

Looks relatively flat compared to the Victorian period rooftop of our old house. At least it felt relatively safe climbing the steep peaks because the worst that could happen is that you’d fall back into the valley. The outer sides are too steep to even contemplate climbing onto. I often wonder how my father rebuilt the roof on those parts, though apparently he had a ladder that hooked over the top. Though with a couple of metres to tumble and a five metre drop to the ground, I still wouldn’t fell all that comfortable doing it myself!

No-one has been on our roof since we had the tiles replaced with corrugated iron. That effort was enough to frighten the life out of me! And I was only watching the workmen effortlessly balancing on beams as they hammered new bits in place. (Our place is a highset on top of a steep hill. My sisters-in-law won’t even stand near the deck railings!)

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