Now, as I see it......

By JohnRH

All Change (1)

When I was a kid if we wanted a new gas fire we bought one, sat it on the hearth, connected a length of rubber hose from the fire to the gas nozzle and lit the fire. Job done.

Things have changed. We are having a new gas fire installed but of course, it isn't just as simple as that. This is the first in a series of Blips I will be doing largely for my own interest to document the work and which I will tag 'New Gas Fire' so I can see them all together at the end.

A lot of my Blip friends will remember that we tried to move house last year but whilst we had a buyer for this, we couldn't find a house we liked enough to buy. So we're doing some work to this one instead. Our house was built in 1902 as a farm cottage, workshop and bakery but bears no relation now to how it looked when it was built. This room would originally have been two rooms and the staircase, and the stone inglenook was added in the 1980's before we bought the house. It has its charm but has not been built well; the stone at the back is not dressed properly and the whole thing collects dirt, dust and cobwebs. We had the cast iron stove installed in 1996 and burn smokeless fuel. It is lit when the weather turns chilly around October and then stays on 24 hours a day until March or April, so keeps the house lovely and warm. But it also needs to have fuel brought in every day in all weathers, the ash pan emptied, and it leaves a film of dust over everything. In addition, I have always suspected that a trace of the gases it produces ends up in the air we are breathing; certainly, the windows seem to get dirty inside very quickly when it is lit. So it's time for it to go.

I'll chart progress here which means that sometimes there will be a change each day, and then there will be a long break. The electrician comes in on Sunday to take out the existing wiring, and the builder starts on Monday. We're also taking the opportunity to install new lighting at the other end of the room. The new fire will go in at the end of the month and then we have to wait until the end of the year before our carpenter can build in cupboards and shelves. He's worth the wait. Then we can redecorate, and only then can we replace the carpet. People go through much greater upheaval than this but for us this is pretty major, so it will be interesting to be able to look back on it all when it is finally finished.

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