A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. What people don’t tell you is how often that single step wasn’t supposed to lead to anything more than a short stroll. Then someone said, “while we’re going this way why don’t we…” and before you know it you’re off on a hike across the continent.
So, it’s been with our chimney.
It started off as a small task. The lower part of our flue from the log burner had a small hole where the metal was corroding. Let’s fix it this summer. A simple job. Replace a single one-metre section of flue with a new one. Then we thought we should check the rest of the flue … just in case. So we took off the register plate, looked up the chimney and saw that the rest of the flue was corroding where the one-metre sections joined. There was a small hole or crack in every section. We’d have to replace the entire flue.
Which made us think … while we’re doing all this work on the flue why not replace the log burner at the same time. The log burner was old and under powered. So we bought a new log burner.
Then we considered the chimney. It leaked in heavy rain. We’d never worked out where the water was getting in. Why not take the cap off – we’d have to anyway to fit the new flue – and redesign a new cap?
More work. Our chimney was built in the 18C and is huge – there are iron hooks inside to hang hams for smoking. It’s also non-standard in every way. The top isn’t flat or particularly rectangular. It’s a hole about 4 foot by one foot surrounded by large, irregular pieces of granite. So I’ve had to build my own cap out of stone, tile and cement to attach the metal flue to and keep the water out. The big test comes on Monday when the rains arrive.
Now, I have to rush. I’ve still got a few finishing touches to apply.
Chris Dolley is an English author living in France with a frightening number of animals. His novel – Resonance (Baen) – can be downloaded for free here. More information about his other work can be found on his BVC bookshelf .
International Kittens of Mystery. If you like a laugh and looking at cute kitten pictures this is the book for you. It’s a glance inside the International Kittens of Mystery – the only organisation on the planet with a plan to deal with a giant ball of wool on a collision course with Earth. Forget Bruce Willis and his team of miners. Send for the kitties!