17 Apr 2014

Hestia stacks up some Brownie Points in Heaven

not our actual crow - I was too busy to take
photos of the Rescue Operation!
Of course, as soon as the wood-burner is cemented in place a bird flutters to its doom down the chimney.

Sonshine and I listened with dread to the gentle tappings as it hopped around on top of the aluminium plate that had now been permanently sealed across the bottom of the chimney.

No longer could I just pull out the plate and let the bird fly to freedom.  No siree.  But maybe Tartarus had built in an escape-plan for trapped birds.  Maybe.

But Tartarus is now in Israel.

I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN!  We've had three birds down this chimney in the past and Tartarus has been away at work every single time.  With a heavy heart, I set to work.

I unscrewed the aluminium plate from its position and tried vainly to dislodge it, but it was not for moving - when Tartarus cements something in place, it is a pretty good bet that it is cemented in for ever.  If I ever disappear in mysterious circumstances - tell the police to check up the sealed chimney, ok?

Then it was a rush upstairs to facebook and email to 'Mayday' the newly arrived and knackered Chief Engineer as to how we might rescue the bird.

After lunch we got the message - the actual pipe from the burner to the chimney SHOULD slide out. Yes, SHOULD slide out is not the same as WILL slide out, but with some judicious hammering and a fair old bit of swearing from yours truly and some nascent swearies from my son, we managed to slide the flue out from its casing.  So now the flue moved freely up and down in the aluminium plate.

But could we slide it out into the room and leave a hole for the bird to escape? Could we fuck, ladies and gentlemen.

We pushed and pulled and swivelled and swore, but there is no way we could actually remove it.  So we instated our emergency plan:

Shove the flue as much as possible into the chimney void and hope against hope that the bird would decide to launch itself down the flue into the unknown.  We wodged the flue up in place and hoped for the best. I left the torch on, so that it would have definite light to move towards.  Heck, I even prayed aloud to God, much to Sonshine's amusement:  'Come on, give us a break! We're trying to save another life here!'  OK - so its not quite the Lord's prayer, but it was all I could manage given the circumstances.

Many hours later (like 10!) Sonshine came bursting in to my Masterchef fantasy time and announced that the bird had tumbled into his room in a cloud of soot.

We both ran into his room and there, perched on the cornicing and, literally, shitting himself was a massive crow. I slammed off the lights and opened one of the curtains whilst simultaneously hauling open the sash and case window (not opened, incidentally, since the last time a bird got stuck in the chimney)

Nero was left in the other room while Sonshine and I tried to shoo Birdy to the window.  He got the right idea, but headed for the TOP of the window, not the lower bit that was open.  This led to me dispatching Sonshine to the garage for step ladders so that I could try sliding down the top window. THIS window, never opened, well, in living memory. Unbelievably, it gave a protesting squeak (the window, not the bird) and slid open!!!

And with a couple of panicked 'caws' and a big streaky smelly shit over Sonshine's White Dwarf magazine collection.....the crow flew straight out!!!

God listened! Tartarus helped! Sonshine helped! At last we managed to SAVE A CROW!

And today's job is to wipe all the bird poop off all surfaces and phone the roofer to install a mesh protector to the chimney can.

Save any lives today at your end?

16 Apr 2014

Hestia's Note To Self

Note to self:  
When Sonshine confirms that  yes, he's washed all the dishes, 
it's always worth checking what he means by 'all'

2 Apr 2014

Hestia's favourite jam

Strawberries and Roses
Bloody gorgeous

Oh my, but this is beyond delicious!

Henshelwood's are based here on the isle of Bute and you can pick up their gorgeous range of jams and chutneys via their website.

Imagine your favourite strawberry jam....now imagine it infused with the delicate scent of roses.  Honestly, you won't know whether to eat it or dab it behind your ears!

24 Mar 2014

Hestia and Nero

We have been jolly adventurous with our big greyhound and taking him to the beach twice a week. We go when the weather is not so wonderful, to minimise the number of dawgies that we might run into.

I don't think he's got an aggressive bone in his body - he's a runner, not a fighter.  Although if you are a Yorkshire Terrier, he might just eat you....

Anyway, here we are at the beach:


Sorry about this not being an embedded video, but living on an island where the internet is still cranked up by hand (ie sloooooooooow) I couldn't face another 45 minutes to upload the film!

Hope you enjoy it - and sorry about the wind noise.  It was blowing a gale at the time!


Sitting in bed with Tartarus having a cup of tea on Sunday morning.  I am singing along to a tune on the radio.

Me (with pride) :  Frank (my long-suffering music teacher) says that I have a very musical ear.

Tartarus:  What, just the one?

*no longer puffed up with pride*

How was your weekend?!

8 Mar 2014

Hestia is Elizabeth Taylor - Day 7: What was it allllll about?

Can it really only have been 7 days ago that I foolishly decided to do a daily blog about bringing out my inner Elizabeth Taylor?  That Buzzfeed quiz took over my life.....

I had hoped that Thursday would be my 'Martha' day from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' but I had too much to do after Tartarus got home on Wednesday.

Oh and about that - I turned up to pick him up with all the makeup and bling on and he ACTUALLY MENTIONED Elizabeth Taylor.  My heart soared - maybe I was morphing into her after all!!

But then he said that he had been reading my facebook posts, so he knew what I was up to.

Well, that's a bit more like it then.

Explore the ruined citadel of m'blog: