23/09/2014

There’s a definite chill in the air now. This morning the temperature on the solar thermal panel was 5.6° C. We may soon be lighting the boiler stove with the aim of warming up the house rather than just heating the water. Speaking of the boiler stove, we still have a slight problem with the bedroom getting smoky. It’s because where the stove pipe exits into the chimney, the sudden increase in volume means that the smoke cools and fills the chimney before exiting at the top, and the vacuum caused by the VMC (extractor fan) means the smoke is still finding its way through the false ceiling to the bedroom. I’ve also noticed one of the sections of stainless steel stovepipe has developed pin-holes. I smeared some fire cement on the inside of this section, covering the holes; but I’m seriously unimpressed with the quality of the stovepipe – it’s only been in service for a year.

A solution to improve the draught and prevent the interference from the VMC would appear to be the installation of a chimney liner from the stovepipe exit to the chimney pot. Although I try to do all renovation and repair work myself, this is one thing I’m not comfortable with doing. Even though we “borrowed” a two-piece 6-metre ladder from the aged FIL, this is still not long enough to reach the top of the chimney pot. I also still don’t like working at heights. I actually had a fear of heights when I was younger, but this was resolved by trying skydiving with a university friend. This was back in the days when parachutes were still round – before the modern square “ram air” parachutes were in common use.

There is an amazingly loud “CRACK!” when the parachute opens, followed by complete silence as one drifts peacefully downwards. The view from that height is obviously spectacular as well.

I think it was on our second training jump (still using static-lines) that my friend had a problem; one of the parachute lines became crossed over one side of the canopy, causing a malfunction known as a “Mae West” for obvious reasons. Fortunately he was able to untangle this line fairly quickly without having to ditch the main ‘chute and pull his reserve. He landed safely, but due to the utmost concentration on resolving the malfunction, he had become confused about timings. I had actually jumped before him, but he was under the impression that he had jumped first. Looking up, he saw what he thought was me. What he actually saw was one of the more experienced free-fallers.

Assuming my main ‘chute had not opened, he was yelling upwards at the top of his lungs, “Pull your reserve! Pull your reserve!” – and then he noticed me walking across the airfield grass to join him.

I still don’t like heights though.

Where was I? Oh yes, the chimney liner. We requested and accepted a quote from the chimney sweep to have the work done. This was in July. France, of course, takes the month of August off. He had promised to do the job by mid-September. LSS called him last week, and was told that he would now not be able to do the work until the first week in October. Oh well, I guess we’ll just keep opening the bedroom window until then.

One of the aged FIL’s carers has been booked off work for a week due to a neck injury sustained in a car accident. The crash wasn’t her fault. The teenage joyriders in the car which T-boned hers did not have a licence so obviously had not been taught the meaning of the octagonal sign with the word STOP printed on it.

One thought on “23/09/2014

  1. jc vd westhuizen

    Hope you can sort the chimney out quick quick.
    The older i get the more scared of heights i become! I used to work on high roofs of buildings and equipment in the factory,now,even the height of my safety boots intimidate me!
    Remember that jump so well……..after having a “bit” of an adrenaline rush myself and seeing the other body plummiting down… but,we did it. Miss my old friends

    Reply

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