Minus figures… Leave the fire burning!

Hi all,

I hope everyone is having a great Christmas 🙂 and enjoying the festivities…

Spent last night at my Uncle’s house, he is also called Buck – so I suppose you could say he is Uncle Buck… Oddly enough, 😉 Uncle Buck the film is on today, but I can honestlly say that my Uncle Buck is not a scruff – lol, but he is a cool guy!

Anyway, we slept downstairs; my Unc’ left the stove burning all night. I must say that stocking the stove up just before you retire for the night is a cozy feeling in itself, but having the stove burning all night is something else and.. Havin’ the luxury of your camper bed being situated next to it is just a dream ;).. I’d buy that for a dollar – lol

Stoves are really becoming popular – My Unc’ has had one for years, he lives out in the Fens and has a reasonable amount of land – not really a farm as such, but the house is sort o’ farmy and they do have a number of animals, including; a funny lil’ Cocker Spaniel, by the name of Harry – he’s sooo adorable!

Cocker Spaniels can be some of the best family dogs and he’s grreat with the other animals. They have a few chickens, some ducks, a few rabbits, two horses and a cow called rosie 😉 – we sometimes feed her half-chopped apples which she devours with the help of her large lengthy toungue.

Their wood and coal shed is located just outside the back door, so access is cool when its cold and being located this close to the back door makes all the difference (I can vouch for that). They have a funny statue next to the back door that used to be a lady sweeping, but over time has come to resemble an old man with a walking stick, about to fall over lol…

Heck, it gives a bit of character to the house and is something to laugh at, (if you’re humour is warped like mine) lol!

Anyway, I am off to cook – I am doing a Veggie stew tonight with a few beans 😉 and a number of other exotic ingredients – I made some bread a few days back, so we can have a few crusts with it!

Take care all and have really Happy New Year!

And remember; if you have a stove, be safe but keep it burning!


Published in: on December 29, 2008 at 5:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Free wood for our fireplace!!!

Did anyone get hit by the snow a few weeks back?

I know I am slightly belated talking about it, but I have been under the weather with this cold that is sweeping Britain at the moment..

Anyway, surrounding my house there are quite a few old trees – a few of the branches hang over our roof. When the snow came down it also pulled those overhanging branches down too – it was a bit scary really, as the branches weighed quite alot.

I was quite surprised at how long it took for the guys to come and remove the wood – it didn’t actually make any damage, which was lucky, but I think the the local tree surgeons had their work cut out for them – I heard reports of trees coming down all over Hertfordshire, so I think we were reasonably lucky..

Anyhow, as we own the trees that were damaged, the wood has become my new heating bill suppliment.. What a result eh?

It is illegal to take from a forest, but these are on my land, so alls well that ends well 😉

Hey has anyone else got any similar stories about the October snow?

Take care, Buck

Published in: on November 14, 2008 at 4:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Ring doves hatched near Dobbs Weir…

I made a post some time ago about some ring doves we found near Dobbs Weir in hertfordshire…

Well they’ve finally hatched!

A few of us have seen the dovlets 😉 walking along a local roof! I don’t think that they are ready to fly yet, as they haven’t made an attempt. (Well not to our knowledge anyway)

I saw the parents the other day too… I was driving my car to work and the parents flew right alongside my car – totally cool! They were almost gliding with a few flaps here-and-there, to keep them steady…

Birds are so lucky, don’t you agree? They can walk, fly and swim – I wish I could fly – that would be so cool! (I could then avoid the daily congestion lol)

I did wanna take some photos of the babies, but I didn’t wanna get too close – birds can be really protective, so I will leave it down to your imagination, that is unless I get a good opportunity, but heck – I don’t spend my days bird watching – 😉 I got fireplaces to design!

Anyway, I will do a third and final post on this, once they have flown the nest!

Ciao for now!

Buck 🙂

Published in: on August 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

A deeper look at fires, thatched roofing and safety…

In a previous article title – Sparks, wood for fireplaces and tree types! – I looked briefly at fires in thatched roofing and some of the causes…

I will now discuss some of these subjects in a little more depth.

There are a number of differing causes for thatched roofing fires. From the types of wood being burnt in house stoves / fireplaces to the design of the fireplace.

Home heating has evolved in the past 100 years – increased insulation and fireplace efficiency are factors with which older chimneys cannot manage and thus thatched roofs for buildings of this kind can suffer fire through heat transfer!

With older flues, magnetic thermometers can be fitted at the main exit, to measure the temperature of the passing gases. This is most certainly not a full proof prevention, but it could help to prevent a fire…

Thatched roofing should be regularly maintained by a professional thatcher – the location of your property can affect the frequency of this as could the materials used in the thatching. (It is advisable to check with a professional thatcher for your specific requirements)

A completely new thatched roof can help to prevent a future fire. With new thatched roofs, it is common that fire resistant insulation boards are laid before the thatch is put in place. It is important to check the details, as to my knowledge, these boards only offer a small amount of fire protection.

It is strongly advised that smoke detectors are fitted in the highest point of the roof – the alarm system should be wired such that notification alarms can be placed in viable places, such as; bedrooms and other living spaces, kitchen and bathrooms – your alarm system should also be mains-wired, with an uninterruptible power supply, for backup!

Electrcal systems and thatched roofing

Your house electrical system should be maintained regularly by an NICEIC approved electrical engineer and only essential conduit fitted electric cable should run through the roof space – bare cable should NEVER be attached to the rafters holding the thatch in place!

Television aerials should have a long enough pole that separates it from the roof – electrical fires caused by storms and lightning strikes are very rare, but not unheard of – therefore a lightning conductor should also be fitted. (Check the full details with your supplier)

General safety for you thatched roof

It is common place these days, that people have barbecues… I do!

What better, than on a sunny day, relaxing in the garden with a cold one and juicy burger!


Barbecues (and bonfires for that matter) can be extremely dangerous when situated too close to a building with a thatched roof! It is important to remember that having a barbecue also coincides perfectly with the conditions required for a roof fire… Build wise – always situate your barbecue in a safe place with ample distance from your house. If embers do rise, then there should be no risk of fire!

As a last note; if you’re a smoker, then always extinguish smoking materials before you go to bed. Candles are great, but always use caution.. It wouldn’t be so great if a 49p candle cost you your house!

I hope this article has been useful?

Take care, 😉 Buck!

Published in: on July 29, 2008 at 3:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

A different type of fireplace customer!

I started work as usual today…

Walked in, checked the post and email and then got on with my list..

I made my usual ‘white, two sugars’ coffee and sat down to do a price for a fireplace and installation.


While I was sitting there I heard the main door open, but no customers were present, which I found a bit strange, but hey, I assumed that the door had been ajar and maybe the wind had caught it?

Mmm yer right!

The door (almost immediately afterwards), opened a second time… As I got up to shut it, I noticed two black and white kittens taking their own tour of our showroom 🙂

There seems to be a different animal here every week.. First ring doves and now cats! lol

It was a bit of a surprise I must say, but I suppose it was a pleasant surprise…

Unfortunately, I don’t actually have a picture of them but I found the following picture on google image search and they looked just like these two!

picture of two kittens from google

I love animals and I know I have said it before (on the ring doves post), but we truely are so lucky with our location!

I remember the days of commuting through London on a daily basis – it’s like a second job! 😉 – I still do have to travel to London for work engagements, but fortunately it’s not all of the time…

Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed learning about my cat experiences! 🙂 They are now back with their owner.. She said that they had escaped from the garden and couldn’t thank me enough for “saving the day” as she put it!

Until the next time…

Published in: on July 8, 2008 at 5:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,