Where did October go? In a whirl of frantic activity for us. My opportunity to post pictures of the beautiful autumn colours we have been enjoying this year has been and gone, in the blur of dashing hither and thither.
Yesterday morning dawned bright and beautiful, and it was going to be a big day for all of us. The new woodburning stoves were coming. At last. I took Lulu for her customary walk around the lake at La Celle-Guenand, one of our favourite places, earlier than usual as we had all been up at half past six for the arrival of the plasterers who were coming to finish the ceiling in the living room and had actually turned up at five past seven. (More about that later.)
The beautiful golden leaves have now all gone, leaving the skeletons of the trees instead. Still beautiful, especially on a sunny and mild November morning. We enjoyed our walk and on the way back I called in the village for some fresh bread. I was tempted to stop at the bar for a coffee and a chat with Marielle the owner, but really couldn’t wait to get back and see how things were getting on chez nous.
As with everything in this house, the story of the wood burners is a long one and an expensive one in the end. If you’re sitting comfortably, I will now begin……..
In the kitchen there was a rather nice, country style Godin fire which worked perfectly well but was much too powerful for the size of the room.
In the sitting room there was something called an “insert” which looked completely out of place because this kind of fire is meant to be built into a wall. Hence the rather unattractive lugs at each corner.
We always knew that we would replace this fire and wondered about moving the kitchen one into the living room, where it would have been much better suited for the amount of heat it produces, and getting a smaller new one for the kitchen.
However, when we called in the local plumbers they expressed a certain amount of amazement at how the two fires had been fitted. Both fires share the same chimney and incredibly the flues only went up a couple of metres. We wondered if this might be because the fatter pipe of the kitchen fire occupied too much space in the chimney for both flues to go all the way up. We will never know. There was some doubt that there would be room for two flues at all, but after a great deal of measuring, poking things up and down the chimney and head scratching, it was deemed to be possible. The outcome is that we decided to replace both fires with something that would be more suitable for each room and work properly and safely. We placed our order back in August and delivery was promised for the end of October, hopefully coinciding with the completion of the other building work (more about that later) which included the rebuilding of the living room fireplace.
We left several messages for the plumbers towards the end of October and heard nothing. We finally managed to get hold of them by lurking in the village late one afternoon and following their van back to their premises. We pounced and managed to get a date out of them – they actually turned up one day later than promised – not bad!
First in yesterday was the kitchen fire, which would only just go through the door, the plumbers enlisting the help of the plasterers to lift it. Work progressed steadily during the day, the plumbers and plasterers managing to work round each other and by the time they all disappeared for lunch it was looking promising that we might, if we were very lucky, have both fires in and the ceiling done by the end of the day.
Well, this morning, this is where the fires are. The ceiling is finished but there is still some work to do on the fires. We are expecting them to be in and working by close of play today. Just one more day………..
One down, one to go!
The weekend is looking better already!