Goodbye Bloody Big Hole

We moved into this house seven years ago. The previous house went with the observatory job, so we had to leave there, even though the builders hadn’t quite finished this one. So we moved in on new year’s day, 2003, with my husband constantly saying, “Don’t lean on the banisters, the glue’s still wet.”

We didn’t have any heating either, which wasn’t a serious problem here. All the same, it’s nice to have the option, and we’d planned to have a fireplace in the corner of the living room. The only catch was that the kits we liked only had models for fitting against a flat wall. So we ordered one, and it took a while, but a year or so later, my clever husband adapted it to fit in the corner where we had the hole going through to the chimney.

This looked better than the hole on it’s own, and it was great to have the fire on cold nights, but the hole was still there, clearly visible behind the fireplace. And since we had plenty of other projects to do, it stayed that way until December. Then my husband talked to a friend who’s a builder, and worked out how to do it. The top photo is when he’d just put up the guides.

Then he added plank-shaped bricks, to create the shape. This was quite tricky, because they needed cutting to shape, one by one. Since he got flu in the middle, it didn’t get finished by Christmas. And what with the flu, recovering from the flu, partying, and projects always taking longer than expected, it was mid January before his friend came and did the rendering. And then we had to wait for it to dry before it got painted. But at last here it is, looking very professional.

I don’t think I’m going to miss the hole.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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