The Land Rover Owners Wife

Mud, the stove and more famous last word

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Saturday was a pretty busy day, all things considered. First job was to take the Mudlets to get new school shoes which is never an easy job especially when it comes to Middle Mudlet and her tomboy tendencies. Simply put, she doesn’t like pretty girlie shoes, preferring to find a plainer more modern style. Her little sister, on the other hand, loves all things girlie and it is always a struggle to persuade her that shoes containing make-up in their heel are not, in the obviously antiquated opinion of her parents, suitable for little girls her age at any time, never mind in school shoes. So trips to the shoe shop are generally a family affair, with Mud dealing with the tomboy which leaves me to handle the fairy.Stove alight

Just over an hour later we were home with the 6 year old proudly wearing her new buckle strap shoes – we’ve given up on the velcro type straps for her, as she seems to be able to wear out the stickiness of the velcro in record time. She has a very dainty pair of proper little girls shoes but with a quite heavy duty looking sole which is just as well considering the amount of wear they will no doubt get at Little Mudlets hands (or feet).

Unfortunately, the 8 year old will have to wait a week for her shoes as the only pair that she liked, was not available in her size from that particular branch but they have tracked down and ordered in a pair from another branch. Thankfully, unlike her sister, her old shoes are still serviceable and so she wont be going barefoot to school just yet.

This was also the day of my trip back in time to shop the high street as my mother used to do and I went out of the door a half hour later with Muds confident, ‘I’ll sweep the lounge chimney whilst you’re out, it should be quite straightforward’ ringing in my ears.

To be fair and as you would expect in a house with solid fuel stoves, this was  a regular occurrence and we had the brush, pipes and even a filter to prevent the hoover getting clogged, which Mud had made several years ago and which worked surprisingly well. Of course there was always a small amount of mess made and a fine layer of soot would have to be cleared from the surfaces in the lounge but with the doors shut and the window open, it was never a great problem really.

So fast forward a few hours and I opened the front door to be greeted by a very strong smell of soot and smoke.

Muds’ confident ‘it wont take me long’ had been stomped upon from a great height and he had encountered a bit of a problem. The wood burner which we have had for some 6 years now, had burnt through it’s fire cement and was coming away at the seams. newly applied sealantNo problem. Mud had some high temperature sealant left from the Rayburn install and so he had applied copious amounts to the affected areas, waited an hour (not the day or so it said) to allow it to ‘go off’ and then lit the thing.newly sealed seam

Not surprisingly, in my opinion, the sealant began to give off huge volumes of smoke and so the girls were banished to the garden whilst Mud opened all the windows and then transferred the burning contents of the wood stove into the Rayburn, leaving a trail of soot and ash in his wake. So when I arrived home an hour later all the surfaces in the kitchen, lounge and dinning room were in need of washing down! The clothes on the drying rack needed another wash and the rug and carpets were black. I was not impressed and spent the next two hours getting the mess cleaned up.

So it was with some conviction that I vetoed Muds’ suggestion that he try and relight the stove again because the sealant had now had several hours to cure. Wait until tomorrow was my firm, no argument position add then we will carry it outside and relight it there, so that if any smoke does come off it won’t be in the house! Luckily for Mud, I think he realised that I wasn’t going to be swayed on this point and so didn’t push his luck.

By Sunday morning the sealant had pretty much ‘gone off’ and so when he did light it (outside) there was very little smoke and it was back in situ, sealed  and safe with a lovely fire burning away, by last night – another job, finally, well done and finished for another year.

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