November 12, 2013

Good news, bad news

The good news is that when I checked my wood burner’s flue outlet this morning, there was nothing blocking it and when I went up onto the roof later on, I found that all of my repairs were perfectly intact and as I left them and nothing appears to have fallen down the chimney. The bad news is that when I looked down the chimney, the flue pipes, which I expected to reach almost up to the top were a lot further down than I expected and that another length of tube would be needed together with the short length that I already have, to reach up to the full height.

This presented me with a small problem, because when I did my circuit of all of the local suppliers before buying what I needed from Leroy Merlin at Brive, none of them had stocks of the 150mm tube that I required. I’d already had to start work later than I’d wanted to today because we had horrible low cloud and drizzle for the whole morning and the period immediately after lunch, but I had no choice when I found that I needed an extra length of tube other than to drop everything and go in search of one. As usual, because of the large distances between the various suppliers, this turned into a total nightmare, made worse by the fact that as the afternoon drew to a close and darkness began to fall, the low cloud and drizzle returned. This in itself would not usually present much of a problem, but as I mentioned in a previous post, my car heater fan has decided to stop working. When I say, ‘stop working’, this isn’t totally the case. It turned on full and was blowing like the clappers early on when I didn’t need it, but it then decided that enough was enough and decided to take what it obviously thought was a well-earned rest thereafter.

I started at Les Briconautes in Montignac and when I found that they still didn’t have 150 mm tubing in stock, I headed for Bricojem in Rouffignac followed by Perigord Noir Bricollage out on the way to Bergerac to find that neither of those had any stock either. I therefore decided to cut my losses and head straight for Leroy Merlin at Chancelade on the north-western outskirts of Perigueux who I reasoned would by now have new stock in after not having any when I first went over a week ago to buy all of the materials that I needed to install my wood burner. And I was right, although the drive through Perigueux coincided exactly with the rush hour, which is no fun at this time of the year, in the dark and in drizzle. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the drive back out to my house was even worse because my windscreen was partly misted over almost the whole way making the drive very uncomfortable with a stream of impatient French drivers following behind who were eager to get home for their dinners.

After last night’s experiences with smoke blowing back into my lounge and the stove performing very inefficiently, I’ve decided to do without it tonight and have my little fan heater roaring away on the other side of the room instead. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my wood burner problems are just down to the inefficiency of the flue and not having my chimney sealed off down below but I won’t know for sure until I’ve rectified those two things. Tomorrow is forecast to be much brighter than today and a bit warmer after a little bit of rain first thing in the morning, so I just hope that I can get on and finish the jobs that need doing without all of the constant disruptions that keep cropping up and are so ruddy annoying 😡