Monday, February 08, 2016

Wood, rain, wind and fire

I wonder why it is that the Woodman always comes and delivers our wood when it is raining.  Or, I guess, I wonder why it always rains when the Woodman delivers our wood.  Mind you, he's only been twice, but it has rained each time that he has come.  That's a 100 % rain rate!

It took us about 30 minutes from the time the Woodman dropped all the wood into the puddles on our driveway to shift it out of the rain and into the back porch. I think that counts as a Saturday morning workout!

Rain focuses your attention when you have paid for seasoned, dried wood!
Then we cleaned ourselves up and pootled into Sheffield to meet Freyja and Simon, so we could all head to Costco and give them the contents of our bank accounts.  We packed the car VERY CAREFULLY INDEED on our return trip :-D

We got home, and I went to light our beautiful fire.  By then the wind had got up and the rain had set in and it was really quite stormy.  The wind blew down our chimney, blew the nascent fire out and filled the firebox with smoke.  Then the smoke seeped out into the loungeroom.  This isn't absolutely unknown when it is very windy, but this time the smoke simply poured out.  The smoke alarm went off and everything! (At least we know that the alarm works!).  So we left it and turned the central heating radiator on for the evening.  I managed to light it on the second attempt on Sunday.  I rang the fire people this morning and they said that they had had lots of calls reporting similar problems over the past few very windy days.  He suggested trying fire lighters instead of newspaper.  Apparently the fire lighters are quicker to heat up and generate less smoke.  We'll give it a go and see how we get on.

This is how the loungeroom looks at the moment

Plaster dry, waiting for an undercoat
The ceiling has had an undercoat and a first coat of white. One more to go
Fire lit! The arches are going to be painted jade at the back
There is a patch just out of shot on the last photo, down towards the floor, which isn't drying and we're not sure why. We wondered if it was because my chair was sat quite close to the wall, shading it from the warmth of the fire. So we've moved the chair to see what happens.  And we have discovered a leak into the front porch which we think is coming through a crack in the outside render. But it can only be coming in when it is raining very hard and the wind is blowing from the south.  We haven't noticed it before.  I suppose we had better get it fixed before it destroys the brand new plaster in the front porch!!

We have been wondering why Marlo has recently taken to sleeping here

Then we realised that the hot water pipe leading to the bathroom radiator runs under this spot!!!

Since the weather really wasn't very good this weekend, and following up my ambition to reduce the contents of the freezer before we move, I spent Sunday not outside rescuing the garden, but in the kitchen baking and roasting.  Little apple pies. A fruit pot pie. Custard (not baking, I know).  And slow roasted lamb shanks with roasted potatoes, parsnip, beetroot and onions and braised red cabbage, red onion and red pepper on the side with a rosemary and white wine gravy.  There is a positive MOUNTAIN of roast lamb left. We're going to be eating shepherds' pies and lamb curry for weeks

Slow cooked lamb, now ready to go in the oven for roasting

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