Fright Night, Boring Morning

We lost the cat last night. This morning the gas man came to make all our gas appliances safe…The cat is small, fluffy and can usually be found velcroed to the warmest person in the house. Last night she wasn’t, and by 3am we still had no idea where she was. Since the gas man was coming today we eventually made some attempt at going to sleep.

The front fire place is now safe to use again – even though I won’t, because burning lots of gas just to warm one room is mental. The same amount of gas can heat the entire house if I run the central heating.

The back room fire is also now safe to use after some loose brickwork was cemented.

The old fireplace
The old fireplace

Behind the crappy gas fire is a massive, massive hole. At one time this house had a huge arched fire place that most likely contained a range of some sort. Poking my head through the hole showed the remains of a bricked up arch and a chimney wide enough for me to stand up in.

It was almost as surprising as finding the 8 foot deep sewer entrance was. I’ll take some photos of that one day, I need to figure out why the cellar floods.

The other thing that needed doing was a vent fitting in the kitchen so the gas cooker doesn’t kill us. Meet Mr Hole Saw…

Mr Holesaw
Mr Holesaw

Half an hour of grinding away with that and the gas man had managed to wear through the outer layer of brick. The bricks are those hard, shiny red ones that dull drill bits within seconds, and turn them into glowing useless blobs if you persevere.

Eventually he succeeded in creating a neat, round hole


Smack in the path of a (fortunately disconnected) electrical cable. A crusty old diagram stuck in the kitchen cupboard showed there used to be a socket there. Multi-meter probings showed the cable dead, and since nothing had stopped working in the house it was taped up and moved out the way of the vent hole. It’s bad luck hitting cables when making holes, but the accuracy was spot on.

We now have a vent in the kitchen. I’ll test it out by cooking steak tonight, I have hopes that it also serves as a vent for cooking fumes so I don’t have to cook with the back door open.

Oh, and the cat? It was asleep in the wardrobe all night, quite happy with life. Cats are bastards like that.

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