Friday, 30 November 2012

Eco-Renovations and Gruesome Discoveries

Frugal Progress, but Eeeeeeugh!

It's getting colder by the day and we really need to get the potbelly stove fitted in as soon as possible! To this end, Thrift Cottage is in chaos! I called said chmney man last night and he was available for a visit this morning! Eek! We hadn't even cleared out the room, let alone removed the boards from the old fireplace. The moment of reckoning had arrived - had the chimney been blocked or capped?
The prospect of having 'Wilbur' installed in the sittingroom/office/dining room is an extremely exciting one. Wilbur is my pot belly (pig) stove. We installed one at our previous house. (It was named 'George', by a frugal friend who had been reading Peppa Pig stories to her little nephew. George is, I think, Peppa's baby brother?) Anyhow, I loved the tiny stove so much that I wanted to bring it with me when we moved house so, when the new tenant offered to buy 'George', I replaced it with an identical model for here, while they were still available for under £100! (Wilbur, as many may remember, was the little pig in Charlotte's Web.) These are fabulous stoves for the price, although you do need to chop logs smaller to fit through the tiny door. They're multi-fuel, they burn hot, have a cleaning hatch and are blessed with a stove top plate that can be used for cooking or boiling the kettle; handy during power cuts!
The following is NOT for the squeamish, so if the word 'gruesome' didn't alert you to the contents of this post, let this be your final warning to look away now, or else think of science in school.
Chimney man was hard at work for well over an hour but I was delighted to hear that the old chimney has not been blocked up or capped - which explains the dampness. It was, however, blocked solid with years' worth of damp soot, birds' nests and, you've got it, the remains of some previously feathered tenants! Quite disgusting seeing the eggs and body parts tumbling from the 200 year-old chimney, but fascinating, all the same. Some looked positively preserved!
You know me, I felt compelled to take a photograph for posterity and have decided to sare it with you all right here, now! It's like the frugal version of a visit to the natural science museum! The worst of the mess is over for now, with bag upon bag of soot, rubble and the last remnants of the creatures that once inhabited our other chimney. At least we had a lovely, crisp day during which doors could be left open and heaters switched off to help save electricity. IT was a case of seeing your breath in almost every room in the house today, that's how chilly it's getting.
Amidst this, the postman delivered me a lovely stash of oddments, buttons, ribbons and other beads, my frugal food order from ROSSPA got delivered, friends arrived with 25kg of spuds that I'd ordered and another pal arrived for a quick trip down to the village this afternoon. A busy day, by anyone's standards.

Trip to post office got the November work stuff out of the way but I do wish I had taken my camera to capture the glorious pink sunset.  The view over Luce Bay was stunning! Never mind, here's one I took previously - it's the one I'm using to colour match the decor for the new kitchen, once we reach that stage.
Finally, I'd like to wish everyone a HAPPY ST. ANDREW'S NIGHT and thank you all, once again, for being such fabulous, frugal friends and taking the time to read my frugal witterings.


  1. I love the look of your little stove! Re; the skeleton in the cupboard [sorry, chimney] did you see the story the other week about the skeleton of a WW2 carrier pigeon found in a chimney in Surrey - with coded message still in little canister strapped to its leg?? [and GCHQ still cannot decode it]
    weekend blessings xx

    1. Angela, yes, I did! I instantly thought of my grandad, as his job was training those self-same pigeons overseas during the war! LOL

  2. That's a lovely little stove, and handy with the hotplate on top.

    Gruesome findings in the chimney though :-(

    Sue xx

  3. love the look of your little stove and love the kettle on the top. I love a fire, it will make a huge difference. We get our chimney cleaned every year and the guys that do it are great and there is no mess at all.

    Gill in Canada

  4. Talking of chimneys, NYK. I once met somebody who bought an old house and set about renovating it. He found 10,000 pounds (punts) in a tin box, wedged upn the chimney. So he went back to the previous owner and they shared it. What a honest man!

    The stove looks great!!

  5. Thanks, guys... definitely no tin box stuffed with money here, only the hidden remnants of an old fireplace and a well-blocked chimney, now cleared. :)


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