I was on my way back from the chainsaw shop ...
I should have been going shopping, but it had already been a busy morning. A trip up to the taxiacharis spring, where I collected four bags of firewood kindling, from my mountain store. A coffee with friends, whilst watching the sunlight rays dancing on the sea between the islands. A tour of an olive grove, and preparations for their next years wood store.
I was shown some lovely Olive wood trunk cuttings, that when polished, will grace someone's table, as a bread board or Lemon board. Bought petrol for the chainsaw and returned home.
And that was all before 8am ...
However cutting up door frames and ancient wood had severely blunted the chainsaw - it had to be sharpened. The man at the chainsaw shop does this in minutes for the princely sum of €2 - a bargain.
On the way back, popped in to see my friends new 'soupa' or wood burner.
He seemed very pleased to see me, as he was having a few problems, as the soot on the windows signified. I had given him the details of the shop in Athens (Bruce are you reading this) and being a man usually careful with his Euro's - had compared prices with here on Skiathos.
Having compared prices, he had purchased the Rolls Royce of Wood burners. It stood around a metre tall, metre wide and around 40cm deep. It also had an oven, where presumably he was going to bake bread. Luckily he knew someone with a crane, they had lifted the beast and two pallets of wood up to the first floor where it was now sited - still on top of a pallet - as he could not lift it to fit the legs ...
From the top, the chimney climbed then wandered like a snake, with all the same twists and coils, across the room before exiting through the wall.
To support the weight of this impressive structure, wires were used, notably from a curtain rail, to take the weight. Silver duct tape being applied to keep all the 'umbilical like' plumbing together.
In the grate some kitchen towel was smouldering, under some plywood which was being used as kindling. When you opened the door you choked on the fumes. I looked out of the window and up, the chimney 'structure' rose through a lighting well, around 10 metres, and was leaning against the roof. It was however supported by some plastic fibre packing tape, secured by a wall nail.
He is a very good friend, so I had to word things carefully ...
Can I suggest something ... ?
Luckily he is open minded for a Greek, and seemed happy to take on board the suggestions. Within five minutes we had straight lines, a vertical chimney, and the beast still minus its feet (we need some trolley jacks to lift it) had been moved 4/5 cm (it took the two of us to shift it) and everything was more or less right within the house.
From the upper terrace, I suggested that he needed to brace the external chimney at least twice, and clamp it. Then increase the height by at least another metre, to clear the pitch of the roof.
We returned to the first floor, where painting had been in progress recently, two sheets of an old Ta Nea, were screwed up, placed under the plywood, and within minutes there was an inferno within the beast - and no leaks from the chimney.
The mobile signified i had to return to base, with my friend promising a glass of something - by the beast with something cooked from within its mighty oven ...