House work (as opposed to housework) is gathering pace. Yesterday I met with the stained glass lady from a local craft centre who is hopefully going to restore the stained glass front door. Unfortunately she informed me that the glass was installed in the 1980s. It’s still beautiful and I’m treating it as a piece of art, even if it’s not original. And yes, I did just refer to a piece of 80s restoration as ‘art’. More on that when the quote comes through.
I also met our friendly local chimney sweep. He did a lovely job and reassured me that both main reception room chimneys are in full working order. Contrary to my romantic notions of sweeps, he wore a baseball cap and used a giant vacuum, but he did have lovely brushes and cover everything with dust sheets like my childhood favourite Bert. I was left slightly aghast by the speed at which the ‘smoke test’ whooshed up the chimney. Having been used to a log burner (80-90% efficient) it’s going to take a while to get used to open fires (80% heat lost up the chimney). For now I will pop chimney balloons up all fireplaces in the house to keep the drafts at bay until the burning season. And then weep as most of the heat from our fuel disappears up the chimney. One day we will get inset wood burning stoves that sit snug in the existing fireplace, like this:
The only snag with the chimneys (there’s always something isn’t there?) was the lack of chimney pot for the sitting room that means the weather has unbridled access to the interior brickwork. When the priority jobs are done I will have to get hunting for a replacement at architectural salvage yards. Let’s not think about how much that will cost for the moment.