Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Sooty and Sweep


Before we get anywhere near the heady delights of fresh paint and new carpets we thought we’d best get a few grubby  DIY chores out of the way. Like sweeping the chimney, for one.

On this occasion as we had already emptied the room of furnishings, we went for the ‘brush up’ technique, the other option being Mr Uphilldowndale going up on the roof and pushing the ‘brush down’ the chimney;  with ‘brush down’ it is easier to contain the soot in the grate, but as it involves ladders and teetering on the roof, we are not very keen.

Sweeping the chimney -1

It seems from the rather alarming amount of soot, that this domestic chore may have been long over due!

Sweeping the chimney 1-1

As you can gather we’re fond of our open fire. The fireplace has a few stories of it’s own to tell.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

10 thoughts on “Sooty and Sweep

  1. No, Spud, no!

    Heather had a little dog
    Its fur was black as soot
    And everywhere that Spudsy went
    Its sooty foot he put.

    (altered Mary had a little lamb spin-off)

  2. Nice post, plus I very much enjoyed reading the old one you set a link to, when you wrote about the fire place back in 2007. Nice wordplay.

  3. Ah, the joys of the real fire! I remember when chimney sweeping time came aroung, back in the olden days of my childhood, and being sent outside to watch for the brush popping out of the chimney (Dad being an adherent of the brush-up method), but looking back, I suspect we were outside to keep us away from all the soot! There was only one chimney, and it’s not as if the brush was going to do anything other than pop out of the top … but still, the excitement of racing back to the door to confirm that the laws of physics were intact cannot be understated.

  4. Sitting in front of a real fire has to be one of life’s best, simple pleasures! xx

  5. I have to get the sweep out. I hate to do it. He’s going to charge me an arm and a leg and grill me on whether I’ve been running the woodstove hot enough to prevent creosote buildup. I’ve been trying to think of a snappy comeback ever since his last visit. Maybe I should just try the brush-up method, except that it’s possible that not all the laws of physics apply in Torch Lake Township and then there I’d be with creosote buildup AND a brush stuck in the chimney and I’d never hear the end of it.

    • I can sympathise, when we first had the Aga installed we had it serviced (at a price of two arms and legs) by the supplier. They used to arrive with a pristine white sheet that they used to lay down on the floor with a grand (and rather superior) flourish. I’m sure in most of the homes they worked in, it was to protect expensive floor coverings, I got the distinct impression at our house it was the other way around!

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