Up at a civilised time and got dressed pretty sharpish as we had booked Pete The Sweep who's based near Harrogate. We use them as they fitted our Clearview stoves and they do replacement parts... which it turned out we needed. The back firebrick had almost completely worn through in our biggest stove, the one we use every day. When it was taken out it fell apart. The 'turbobaffle' is also shot after more than 10 years almost continuous use and will also need replacing, but the shop doesn't have them in stock so that will be installed within a couple of weeks. And when they swept the chimneys, one of the wire 'anti-bird' cowl thingies came off so they offered to replace them with ones which are tied firmly on and can cope with a sweep's brush coming up.
The good news is that there was hardly any soot in the chimneys, as the stoves do burn really cleanly, and this small volume of deposit is evidence of that. So they went back to Starbeck to get replacement firebricks as they don't have them in the van, so it has turned out to be an expensive morning, both financially and in terms of van-miles, but as there's a cold-weather warning for the coming weekend, we really have to be able to use the back room stove, and it's not usable without the firebricks.... so they used their lunchhour to go and get what was needed.
So they returned and finished servicing our heating system, and will bill us through the post. An expensive day... but not expensive compared to the cost of most peoples' fuel bills. I still keep on thinking of our winter gas bill of £12!!! And this because we don't use any central heating and cook mainly on the woodstove.
A quiet afternoon, boys occupied and happy enough, I did some work outside and also made a nutloaf.
At 5.30 I went into town to attend the monthly Critical Mass Cycle Celebration, which was good, several new faces and friendly chats. Not a lot of aggro from other road users this time which was good.
Had nutloaf when I came in, and when the kids were in bed, had a game of Scrabble with Gilly and beat her soundly... a difficult board and she did get lousy letters. I got most of the high scorers and it showed in the final tally. A good evening.