Right this minute there is a hole in my sitting room wall. Panic not, people, it goes up, before out. When I left the house early yesterday evening the landlord was perched on top of the chimney mildly cursing...as landlords do?
You want the story?
Installation of a closed stove. Pending installation? Potential installation?
Some of you will know that its a rather old (in places dodgy) cottage I live in, so it will surprise you not at all to learn that the installation was not progressing as hoped.
The plumber, referred to as 'yon fella' by the landlord,R, arrived yesterday about 2 o'clock and within 30 minutes had the carpet rolled back, furniture moved (myself having emptied the room of sundries last Wednesday when Yon Fella was first expected), ripped out the 1950's? '60's? fireplace surround and were navigating around the piano with barrow loads of shovelled rubble and debris. Next the back boiler was dismantled and hauled out, soot and substantial trickles of water all across the floor. Luckily there's no foundation so I guess most of it just soaked into the ground between the tiles.
I will post photos when it is done, because the remains of the original fireplace which emerged were quite interesting, typical 18th C rural Irish, which is appropriate to what I know of the house.
Apparently the chimney has to have a 'liner' inserted, so next thing R. is strolling around the roof with the QE2 on his shoulder...actually its more of a long metal bendy tube which had to be slid down the chimney, with a rope attached to the end so that it could be pulled from below in case difficulty arose, which of course it did.
A sample of the conversation being yelled between Yon Fella, crouched in the fireplace with his head up the chimney, and R. sitting atop the chimney:
YF: Let it down easy now, I've the rope, twist it as ye go.
R: Can ya see it? I've a good part down.
YF: (tugs on the rope) Not a bit. Would there be a kink in this chimney?
R: There could be anything in this chimney for all I know. Have ye got it yet?
YF: (tugs again) Nope. Can ye see anything?
R: I'd say it was relined recently, its definitely not the original chimney.
R: 20's maybe, good strong brick. (no body asked 'which '20's?' 17s?18s?19s?) Throw me up another bit of the ould tape till I try something.
YF: (goes out to van, rummages, tells me to duck and fires a roll of tape onto the roof which R catches) How can ye not know which way the chimney goes?
R: Was I here when they built the damn thing? Try now...
At which point I unfortunately had to leave, but I expect my absence freed up their language which probably expedited success. By the time I returned last night the lining was through and various cementings had been done, the water had gone and there were no dead or wedged bodies that I could see.
And that, dear readers is how it stands. No sign of them this morning but sure its early yet for Yon Fella to be about. I swear R will have him murdered before the job is done. Like many plumbers round here he is as unreliable as an Irish Summer but just as pleasant when he finally arrives.