A rude awakening

I was fast asleep, it was 2:30am, when we had an internal chimney fall so bad I wondered if the chimney stack had fallen in. It woke Rufus, who barked and barked and barked until I turned the light on to show him it was all right. I thought it was just a regular chimney fall. We get them, every so often.

An hour later we were both still fidgeting, although the cats stayed where they were, and my eyes were feeling dry and dusty. So I got up and went downstairs to get the eye drops.

When I opened the lounge door to go and get the milk in (yes, my lovely milkman delivers *well* before breakfast), a wall of brick dust and soot hit me.

I turned the light on and was greeted with this:

It really is just one thing after another, but I’m still managing a few Pollyanna moments:

  1. It happened before I had the redecorations done following the water penetration.
  2. I hadn’t replaced the carpet yet.
  3. It could have happened at the same time as the water pen and turned into sludge instead of just plain soot.
  4. It forced me to fetch out the duster and the vacuum cleaner … (this is good, is it …?)
  5. It wasn’t the chimney stack.

The chimney stack is solid. I had it checked a year ago because one of the chimney pots looks dangerously unstable. But I was assured it wasn’t going anywhere. Last week when I went up in the loft I inspected the chimney.

It’s a beautiful creation and one of the nicest domestic chimneys I’ve ever seen. Maybe one day I’ll post a picture. It’s brick-built with the 2 chimney breasts coming up from the loft floor, one from the back, one from the front, and then there’s a perfect arch as they merge together as one.

While I was in the loft the only places I saw daylight were through 2 slipped slates. The chimney was fine, no cracks, no slippages.

This chimney fall is from the inside, it’s the chimney lining, and will probably ensure that this house never has an open fire again. If I was going to go to the trouble of repairing the chimney lining, I’d just as well remove the chimney breasts (but leave the lovely chimney in the loft supported on something), and I’d reluctantly replace the gas fire with an electric one because of the price of gas these days.

Gas used to be the cheaper option, now it’s getting scarce I’d sooner put in a fire that would use the alternative resources offered by my energy provider. Or I’d put solar panels on the roof.

Anyway, the fire is a crappy old one but I can’t afford to replace it yet. I’ll make enquiries into getting the chimney swept before the room’s made good after the summer incident, but I have to make sure they can take the fire out and put it back again, it being gas.

Six years ago I had the chimney inspected and swept. I wasn’t expecting to sweep it again so soon. There are more pictures here.

When the room is made good again I’m going to break a rule and buy a hearth rug. I do like hearth rugs, but I don’t like the way a carpet wears around the outside of a rug, and if it’s a cheap rug and the backing starts to deteriorate, it rots the carpet beneath. I also think they can make a room look smaller. But I do like them, they add a splash of colour, and are great to lounge on in the winter. So I may consider a red hearth rug this time.

As I say, it really is one thing after another at the moment, and I’d like a bit of boring time, if you don’t mind. Thank you.

Have a lovely day.