Silly Saturday: Soot!

Regular followers of my blips will know that our roof is currently being replaced. And that I'm extracting maximum blip mileage out of it: well here's another.

As part of the job we asked them to rebuild one of our chimney stacks, which has been bowing outwards increasingly these last few years - we were concerned that it may start to collapse. So during the week the lads dismantled it, ready for the bricklayer to come along and do his stuff.

Most of the original fireplaces in this old house are no longer in use, but we do have a coal-effect gas fire in the lounge for occasional very cold nights when the central heating needs a bit of help. Knowing that some debris & soot were likely to come down during the work, I positioned a large polythene sheet on the floor with a dust sheet over it the day before they started this work. The workmen then brought in a roll of roofing felt and hung some across the opening with masking tape on the mantelpiece - a "belt-and-braces" approach, so I thought.

That did the job of protecting the carpet, until the masking tape gave way and the felt sheet fell down, scattering soot and debris over a wide area. (The silly workmen hadn't put enough tape on.) Unfortunately I'd also been silly and hadn't taped the polythene sheet to the skirting board at the sides of the fireplace - so soot to got onto our new(ish) light-coloured carpet.

We were concerned that the soot might have been greasy, but happily it was just dry and powdery, so the vacuum cleaner was very effective at getting rid of it. Phew!

I had another silly experience yesterday, which could almost be turned into a script for a comedy (memories of Hoffnung's "The Bricklayer's Lament"!). My Editor was out, and I decided to get out the stepladder and check the loft again where water had been leaking in last week (see here). I'm usually very careful when going into the loft, but I was in a hurry and clearly didn't place the ladder properly - after all, I was just going to stick my head & shoulders through the trapdoor for a quick peep. However, as I began to descend I must have leant back a little and the ladder decided to lean the opposite way, in the process folding up and collapsing. So there I was, hanging by my fingers onto the edge of the trapdoor opening with no-one available to replace the ladder. Happily my feet were less than a metre from the floor, so I reckoned I could jump that short distance down, but in avoiding landing on the ladder itself I lost my balance when I landed, fell backwards and banged my head on a nearby doorpost. It wasn't a very hard bang so I was relieved, until I realised that I'd banged against a 90 degree edge and blood was pouring out (scalp wounds do tend to bleed a lot!). Fortunately 5 minutes of pressure with a pad of kitchen roll stemmed the flow and I'm fine.  A lucky escape from a bit of silly carelessness. I'll be more careful next time...  ;-))

So a double dose of silliness for admirer's Silly Saturday challenge.

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