Sunday, 7 October 2012

There's no smoke without fire

Well that 2 months flew by…..I am now writing the blogs that I promised myself that I would write at the time, but time itself got away from me!!!

So here I am back in England (for the time being) and recounting my escapades so that 1) I don’t forget them myself and 2) so those of you that know me,can get to enjoy my “big adventure” too.

Now, where was I ?

Fitting the Woodburner was a job and a half. As our bottom floor is below ground,the flue had to come through at head height in the lounge,and drop down to the fire itself via a system of flue adapters,corners,brackets and straight lengths.

Buying the flue system proved to be an absolute nightmare, as in France flues are made in many many sizes, and each piece has a male or female end,splayed or pinched in.  It just basically involved all three of us(Brother in law Ken, Richard and myself) on the floor of the local Ironmongers with a shed load of parts,trying to accomplish the correct linkage and doing our impression of the Krypton Factor or Crystal Maze. Our 1st effort not only failed miserably,but also cost us more in the sum total of parts than the ruddy fire itself !!!

After returning to the shop with the rejects and a feasible plan B we finally managed to get a suitable flue system to vent the fire.

Our very nice French builder Mr Germain had by then built the foundations and had erected a chimney (complete with a traditional “table top”) adjacent to our car parking area. Our cottage now had two rising stairways on the same floor AND two chimneys (the original is bricked up in our toilet).

Richard and I then had the unenviable but surprisingly enjoyable job of building a “faux” chimney breast behind the fire, to protect the walls from the heat and staining and to make the whole thing look authentic. To my surprise you really can buy glue that can hold a pound and a half ROCK to the wall without slippage or, as my other half puts it “sticks it like shit to a blanket”….thanks for that one hun. Anyway, job done, you can see the fruits of our respective labours below. 

WE will be back to France in the Winter..."let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" We will be toasty !

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