Nothing has happened that merits a full post so here are a few short  ‘interludes’.

The sporty cock

As I handle my glasses rather roughly when I clean them it was inevitable that they would break sooner ot later and last week they fell apart. Our favourite optician said I had timed it well as frames ere on offer – 30% off – so I asked her to show me the ones most suitable to put my lenses into.

The next day Yvette admired the new glasses.

“The colour matches your hair” she said, “but what’s that written on the side?”

I didn’t know there was any writing. What did it say?

“Le coq sportif” – not exactly me!

Le ramoneur

Yvette rang to say that the sweep was coming to do her chimney and should she send him round to do ours.

He turned up, bless him, and heaved the heavy stove aside.

Then there were some interesting expletives, the gist of which were that the chimney was completely blocked and therefore a fire hazard. He asked for a torch and showed us the pipe, absolutely full of pieces of charcoal.

He set to to sweep it clean and then gave me a gentle lecture about four reasons why this had happened:

1. We must never let the fire burn with the damper completely closed as a fault with the make of stove we had chosen means that it doesn’t let in enough air.

2. We are not storing our wood correctly (air should be able to circulate underneath if it’s kept indoors) and, anyway,

3.  it was not dry enough. We should keep it for at least two years before using!

4. We must not burn too many logs at once.

It was a relief to have found all this out and cleared the chimney in time but it left me with a fair bit of cleaning, plus all the chair and settee covers to wash.

Another repas des Anciens

As I’ve often written about the meals we enjoy with the village ‘oldies’ suffice to say that the latest  one was a great success with Bear enjoying couscous despite maintaining previously that he would never eat it!

7 Responses to “Snippets”

  1. tillylil Says:

    Glad life is ambling along for you.
    Has it been hot this last week as it has here?

    yes, Tracey, it’s been very hot here too. the worst of it was that the resulting storms cut out the satellite signal at crucial times during the women’s and men’s Wimbledon finals!

  2. canisfamiliaris Says:

    “Le coq sportif” – Not exactly me! have to agree with that assessment … sadly!!

    At least your man wasn’t trying to sweep your problems under the carpet!!

    Bear made an effort? Now that’s progress!!!


    Ah, you know very well that I’m NOT the sporty type!

  3. Keith Says:

    Tut, tut! After all these years you didn’t know how to burn logs?

    If my chimney sweep had lectured me like that I would have told him where he could stick his brushes, and then we would see just how much
    ‘taureau-merde’ would come down!

    Well, I can smile sweetly and claim feminine helplessness can’t I. On the other hand, I have to say that it was Bear who made up the fire with too many logs and when I protested he swore at me. maybe he will be more careful in future.

    Bear ate cous-cous! Did you explain to him that it is made from reconstituted frog spawn?
    Well he didn’t actually eat the couscous – just all the accompaniments, but it was a relief that he expressed enjoyment instead of moaning.

    Well, after the French have eaten the frogs legs, its a shame not to put some of the rest to good use. . .

    I gather you don’t like couscus either, Keith.

  4. Pat Says:

    Isn’t it great learning things. And it could well have saved you from asphyxiation at some stage. Try spelling that after a glass of wine:)

    I’m not sure I could spell it before a glass of wine, pat.

  5. Little old me Says:

    That one was a close one.

    Well, by law you have to have your chimney swept at least once a year so i doubt whether we would have tried to light the stove until after the chimney was swept. However, I suppose the last one or two fires we had in the winter could have led to disaster.

  6. Susie Vereker Says:

    Interested to hear about two years. But why did you have to clean up after the ramoneur? I thought they’re meant to make a clean sweep, as it were.

    I did know you weren’t supposed to burn ‘fresh’ wood but I, foolishly, trusted our supplier to sell us ‘seasoned’ wood.
    The sweep did collect as much of the mess as he could in a dustbin bag and he cleaned up reasonably well but all the covers smelled of soot and the dust settled everywhere so i had to have good clean round.

  7. Almost American Says:

    “never let the fire burn with the damper completely closed ”
    We learned that one with our first wood stove. I came home from work one day to find the alarms going off in the house. I left pretty sharpish, & called DH on my mobile. He said it was probably a false alarm, but I called the fire department anyway. They turned up and went into the house wearing their full gear – oxygen tanks and all – and came back out to tell me that the carbon monoxide levels in the house were lethal! And that was even with the stove behind down in the basement. (CO is heavy and tends to sink, but there was enough of it in the house that it still reached the bedrooms 2 floors above!) The cause was a completely closed damper.

    It’s frustrating to buy ‘seasoned’ wood that should be dry enough to burn only to find that it’s not!
    Oh heavens! I didn’t realise there was a carbon monoxide risk as well. We do have a detector in the kitchen (and downstairs is all open plan) but it hasn’t gone off. Maybe we need another one low down near the stove.

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