When we first moved to Spain, we lived in an old, stone house. One evening in the autumn my bipeds decided to light a fire, as the weather had turned cold. This didn’t turn out to be a very good idea – the smoke billowed into the room! The bipeds opened the windows and fiddled around with the fire for a while, but it didn’t take them long to decide that the chimney needed cleaning and they put the fire out.

On Sunday morning Juan, the man who owned the house, came by to collect something he needed. He said he was surprised that we didn’t have a fire now that the weather had turned cold. My bipeds told him that it smoked too much and that the chimney needed cleaning.

He replied, “I can’t do anything now, I’ll come back after lunch and clean it with you.”

We were surprised when he returned later that afternoon, we had discovered that when he said “after lunch” he didn’t usually mean the same day! He was holding a coil of thick electrical cable. The male biped asked him if he would like help bringing his tools in – we were expecting to see a brush with rods to push it up the chimney.

What we expected to see!

What we expected to see!

Juan replied, “This is it! Do you have any secateurs or shears?”

My bipeds looked really puzzled now, but found a pair of shears for him. He took the male biped off down the garden. The female biped put the cats in the bedroom and closed the door and then she taped some rubbish sacks over the fireplace. She said to me that she had no idea what was going on, but we might as well be prepared for a mess!

I went out onto the terrace and I saw that Juan had a pile of twigs from the Holm oak. He was tying them up halfway along the cable that he had with him. The male biped was asking him what he planned to do, but he just kept saying, “You’ll see!”

Holm oak

Holm oak

They came back into the house and Juan asked the male biped to wait by the fireplace. Juan disappeared up the narrow stairs to the loft without explaining. My bipeds wondered whether there was an opening in the chimney up there, for cleaning purposes. From my vantage point on the terrace, I saw Juan climbing out of the small window on the roof. I barked because that didn’t seem right at all. The female biped popped out to see why I was barking. She told me to be quiet, or I could join the cats – how rude! But she looked a bit worried when she saw Juan strolling across the roof to the chimney.

Juan dropped one end of the cable down the chimney and shouted down the chimney to my biped to pull the cable. My biped started pulling and Juan kept asking whether he could see the twigs yet. When my biped said that he could see the twigs, Juan asked how much soot had come down the chimney. He told my bipedΒ to keep hold of the end of the cable and Juan pulled the twigs back up!

Typical stone chimney

Typical stone chimney

They repeated this about half a dozen times and then Juan dropped his end of the cable down the chimney. He walked back along the roof and climbed back in the window and came down. He untied the twigs and left them in the fireplace with all the soot. He coiled the cable back up.Β My bipeds asked him if he’d like to sit with them and have a drink. He declined, saying that he was going home to finish the bottle of wine he’d started with his lunch.

The bipeds cleaned up and lit a fire. They let the cats out of the bedroom and the cats were very pleased to find it was warm and they got as close as they could to the fire. My bipeds said that they didn’t think it was a very good idea to go for a stroll on the roof after drinking wine, but they were relieved that all had ended well. The fire still smoked, but not nearly as much!

See you next Wednesday!

69 thoughts on “Smoking!

  1. Yikes! Brave fellow. Never heard of that approach before. The theory is good though!

  2. Wow what a nice guy to have around! Who knew Clowie a silly chimney took so much work! πŸ™‚ Sorry have been gone for a while might have missed a post or two but am back now!

    • It was very interesting! It’s nice to see you, I haven’t been around either – I’ll pop in to see you soon.

  3. They are just the same in Italy, long lunch with lots of wine.. I wouldn’t of got up on the roof. At least he sorted it and you could all curl up in front of the fire πŸ™‚ See ya next Wednesday xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

  4. Hope you didn’t get soot on your lovely white coat!

  5. Very interesting method. I would try it myself but I guess you need two for it. I went on the roof here once to clean the chimney and I’m a bit afraid of heights, it was not really fun. I didn’t drink wine before I did that though. When I lived in Germany I had an appartment in a very poor area of the town. My neighbours were Turkish people. One morning I looked outside to see my neighbour cutting a branch of a tree with a motor chainsaw while he was standing on that branch in the tree. The classical way to break ones leg or more. Nothing happened though. I’ve seen him walking on their roof as well once or twice, can’t remember why though, probably to adjust the tv antenna. It seems to be all about optimism.

    • That sounds like a very scary way to use a chainsaw. But we used to have a neighbour who would go to the pub for a boozy Sunday lunch and come back and cut logs with his chainsaw. My bipeds always said it was an accident waiting to happen but, as far as I know, he still has all his limbs!

  6. How inventive. We got to say we are impressed. Lucky after the wine he didn’t fall off the roof. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. Well Clowie that’s quite a story! I imagine nobody in your house had ever seen a chimney cleaning quite like that one – it sounds like it “sort of” worked too but probably not as well as with the “traditional” chimney cleaning method!!! I agree that it’s good you weren’t standing too close to the mess – soot and beautiful white coats do NOT mix well………. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

    • I think some soot might suit me rather well, even more striking than mud!
      It was a total surprise to us all, we’d never heard of that method of cleaning the chimney. We’ve seen him solve other problems in unusual ways!

  8. As we have learned living in different countries…things can be very different if it is not your home country, some things work out well, some not so well πŸ™‚

  9. I think your mom should call the chimney sweep guys from Mary Poppins. They will come and clean the chimney and dance on the roof! I’m pretty sure there’s some wine involved there, too….

    Love and licks,

  10. that was sure a great display of some mad chimney cleaning skills!

  11. Juan’s way sounds much better than mom’s way to clean the chimney with a firecracker-bomb :o)

  12. Oh wow. How neat. Thanks for sharing.

  13. That was the old country way in the U.K…..

  14. Very cool story. Sometimes you gotta trust the Zohan, or in this case, the Juan! : )))

  15. I can’t stop laughing over Genevieve’s, um Cupcake’s comment! I think Cupcake is right about having Mary Poppin’s chimney guys and I KNOW she is right about the wine.. πŸ˜€ Whole process was very interesting Clowie.

  16. Hmmm that’s a pretty creative way to clean the chimney!

  17. Well that was interesting about cleaning the chimney. But glad you got it cleaned. Take care.

  18. Clowie, I want to be your agent when you write your book. This is great writing and storytelling and made me LOL so that Max & Bella BOL and our male biped wondered what was going on. I told him to read what Clowie has to say and we might be able to use our fireplace without it smoling, lol. The best line, that really made all of us squeal out lout, ” She told me to be quiet, or I could join the cats – how rude!” Great post!!

    • Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed my story! I wouldn’t advise using that method to clean your chimney – I think it’s a bit dangerous!

  19. Laughing at the Mary Poppins angle!! I bet your chimney sweep didn’t have a terrible English accent!!

    • No, but he has a rather difficult Spanish one! He uses words that only exist in an old local dialect, so they’re not in a Spanish dictionary!

  20. Wowzers! me is just as surprised as yous! But that is a great way to gets it to work!

Comments are closed.