Listening to: Dean Martin (coming from the father-in-law's room)
Dreaming about: hot baths, strong showers.
Wearing: clean clothes.
Ten years of moderately expensive education (scholarship boy), a strongly middle class upbringing and 25 years working as a newspaper journalist didn't prepare me for the fact that my new best friend is a sledgehammer.
The stove mentioned in a previous post finally stopped gushing water all over the floor and was ready for removal. Lifting it proved well beyond us, cast iron being quite heavy as it turns out.
So it was down to a demolition job. I got hold of our friend Eric's very big hammer, imagined the stove was George Bush/Tony Blair/Simon Cowell/any member of the West Bromwich Albion first team and got down to work. Breaking things is great fun.
The stove is in very small pieces on our rapidly growing scrap heap leaving a traditional Scottish/Orcadian wooden dry-lining thingy with only the hole where the flue had once been before me and Steve (the sledgehammer) had got to work.
It was Sally who took the first step, levering off the first bit of planking with a claw hammer and very soon a rough fireplace surrounded by equally rough stone was revealed. Happily, the fireplace just needs decent rendering, while I enjoyed a peaceful afternoon on my own chipping away at the desperately rough pointing, leaving something that might just make a decent feature (or whatever they call it on those infuriating TV shows).
Quite a good day, really, except that Spike got out again and was only retrieved because his ludicrous fluffy tail was spotted at the entrance to a rabbit hole in the next field. He's here now, one ear draped for maximum annoyance over the caps lock key.