the house next door. It was tiled with unglazed terracotta tiles. They apparently needed to be replaced so the owners are having a different type of roofing put on.
So, yesterday they started on the job. There were two men walking all over the roof. I could see them from where I am now sitting. The sight of them casually walking around on the roof made my chest feel tight and my knees feel weak.
They had brought in one of those large industrial bins they call "skips" in which to put the tiles and, for the next few hours, we heard clatter, bang, bump, thump, and clang as the tiles were thrown into the skip. No doubt they will do the rest over the next day or so.
They talked to one another. They talked on their mobile phones. They talked to the owner and to the Senior Cat and told me about the need for morning tea. (No, I was not expected to provide it. One of them went off to the local bakery. He went again at lunch time.)
At the end of the day they put a roof size tarpaulin over their work.
It was quiet.
And then, last night, after a fine and sunny day, the weather changed. It has rained during the night. There was enough wind that the tarpaulin flapped and kept me awake.
I know that can't be helped and I am certainly not going to say anything to the neighbours. After all, they are enduring something rather worse than that.
But, what bothers me is the tiles. They are simply being thrown away. They break as they fall into the skip.
The Senior Cat shook his head over it and said, "They could have been used. They might not have been any use on a roof but they would have made good garden edging."
Once upon a time he would have used them that way or in some other way. Middle Cat's husband would have used them too. When I was out picking up the paper this morning a dog walker from the next street was looking at them.
"Pity I didn't know about these. I could have used them. If they get in before seven-thirty could you get them to give me a call?"
No, they aren't here and so all the tiles will be thrown away.
In any neighbouring country they would have been recycled in one way or another. It's a waste.