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This morning I printed my pdf download of ‘Bits of a Boyhood’, Bruce Goodman’s story of his growing up in rural New Zealand, that he has generously provided free of charge. Bruce is such a good storyteller that I know I will enjoy it.
Barry and Owen of New Forest Chimney Sweeping completed the fitting of our fireplace dating from the turn of the 20th century. This is what they began with.
The way these two men began by laying out their tools and equipment indicates the thoroughness with which they approach their work.
Everything was therefore available as soon as it was needed.
Barry is clearly the master craftsman, and Owen the apprentice, but the father seeks the son’s views along the way. Two heads, it would seem, are better than one. Before they began they drove off to purchase the fireback, seen here lodged in place.
Next came lining up the fireplace and surround. This was a process that was continually being repeated as they went along.
Screws were applied to the carved wooden surround,
to which brackets were fitted prior to fixing it to the brickwork.
Holes were then drilled into the cast ironwork.
Owen took a hacksaw to the fireplace while Barry continued with the brackets,
which the father then trimmed.
The whole structure was then lifted into place,
then securely fixed, when Barry carefully checked the fit.
Note the spirit level.
Owen then cemented the inside space,
and Barry provided a level and beautifully smooth floor,
finally testing the draw to his satisfaction.
The services of no chimney sweep are complete without attendance at weddings, thus bringing good luck to the bride and groom. This photograph was produced in 2008, when Owen was rather smaller. It is one of a bound collection kept for display.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic chicken jalfrezi, savoury rice, onion bahjis, and a paratha. Jackie drank more of the Vernaccia di San Gimignano and I drank Cimarosa reserva privada carmenère 2015.