Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Lesson Learned?

I realise with alarm now that it was nearly 25 years ago. In a bid to make my then house more habitable, particularly in the winter, I decided that I would plumb the depths of central heating.
I took out a loan from the bank for an amount that frightened the life, but that met the expectations of avarice expressed to me by a triumvirate of local plumbers and Gritish Bass. For the sake of a round figure I settled on two thousand shiny pounds.
And then I started to spend it hand over fist.
My sister and I hoofed it of to Ibiza.
I bought my first British Bike.
Much conspicuous consumption occurred.
To the point that my once ample sum dwindled to the point that I had enough money left to buy a stove, and the requisite pipework, but would not be able to afford the expertise of an experienced installer.
My solution then was to do it myself. Undaunted by my own lack of expertise, buoyed by the enthusiasm of youth and mindful of the promise to the bank about security of investment, I installed a central heating system.
It took me six months. Lots of trips to the library. Visits to the solid fuel advisory service where eventually certain experts would hide if they saw a man with a helmet approach the door.
But in the end the result was good.
Winter became a whole load more tolerable.
And that was an end to it. Never again, I swore, would I be so foolish. Had I employed the aforementioned experts the whole would have been completed in weeks rather than half a year. Many of the naive mistakes could have been avoided, and I could have rested far easier at the end of a day, rather than returning home from a demanding job and then having another one to take up the next eight hours. I was young and perhaps a little foolish. It was fun in some regards but …… but…..
Well you wouldn’t want to do it again.
……except. Well the thing is…..
It has been a bitterly cold winter up here on Hallett’s Mountain. I have been tempted. She Of The Townhouse has been banging on about how nice a Rayburn would be in the kitchen. How it would provide hot water and drive a few radiators.
So here I am again. In the absence of expertise and mastering no wisdom of years I am contemplating opening a chimney, rewiring much of the house, hanging radiators, putting a new tank in the loft, reorganising my kitchen space, installing a Rayburn, laying a new floor….
After all, how hard can it be.


Craig Rockfield said...

Hmmm, would be very nice though. I picked up a nice weighty aga brand omelette pan the other week, gee it was heavy. Made to last though for sure. Any peat up where you are? Compressed peat blocks would burn very nicely, and the smell. Bit pricey the old gas nowadays Meredic. Think self sufficiency.

Am told these things take a few weeks just to warm up too mind.

Take a look at these Esse Lionhearts, if logs are more your thing.


sablonneuse said...

Well a Rayburn will knock a big hole in the budget before you even start but it sounds like a great idea. . . .
Good Luck!!

Dave said...

When i did things like this I always worked on the 2:3 rule.

It costs twice as much as you thought and took 3 times as long.

But good luck. We had a Rayburn when I was young. Never needed tumble driers, just hung stuff over it in the night and they were dry for the morning. A bit stiff maybe, but dry. Ironing didn't seem to enter into it.

Leah said...

Just don't lose that beautiful fireplace, eh...