The builder who has been working on our chimney warned me
“It’s like opening up a can of worms,” he said.
“It shouldn’t be too bad”, we thought.
The old stone brick fireplace is coming out, to be replaced with an eco friendly, fuel efficient, wood burner. Opening up the old fireplace reveals an inadequate lintel, already displaying some cracks. It will need to be cut out and replaced. Taking the bricks back to the appropriate width takes longer than anticipated, odd bits dating from the early 70s are found hidden in the spaces. A strangely placed electric socket was discovered immediately above the old mantelpiece. We wonder what for?. No flat screen TVs in those days.
A week on and the plaster is drying and awaiting paint, new tiles will be laid to create a hearth before the stove is fitted. “We’re getting there”, we think.
But be warned – the knock on effects continue, the whole room needs repainting, furniture rearranging, and most challenging of all, the bookcases have to be moved.
So it’s not worms all over the carpet but piles of books, representing ideas, hobbies, stories, travel from many years of our life, all needing sorting, rearranging, rehousing or (like the rubble from the fireplace) simply taking away in plastic bags …