The nether regions

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My my, the weather has been so windy lately, played havoc with the flag so much so I had to take it down until it subsided some. Now although it is still somewhat windy I have raised the flag again. The wind hereabouts is predominantly from the west, sometimes from the south-west and sometimes the north-west but predominantly from one of those directions. Over the last week it has changed to a more northerly direction and with that comes the cold. Now I live in an old Victorian house that has seen many changes to its interior since it was built in 1877 and I suppose when it was originally built it was hard to keep it warm.

Chimney stacks on a building in Newcastle upon...

Chimney stacks on a building in Newcastle upon Tyne, England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It must have cost a fair amount of money to maintain a cosy interior. There were nine fireplaces at one time from what information we have gathered during our time here so they must have been able to keep it warm but at a price. In fact there may have been more fireplaces but now we have only three presently usable. We could conceivably use a couple more if we re-opened the relevant chimney stack. There are four chimney stacks three of which served eight or nine fires whilst the fourth perhaps served another two or three. The fourth stack was capped off many years ago and no longer protrudes beyond the roof. So at one time if all those fireplaces were used it must have been very warm indoors. When we moved here about twenty-six and a half years ago we found the house very draughty in places and we tried to eliminate the draughts as best we could. It was only after we had double-glazed windows and a couple of new doors fitted in 2010 that we saw a very much improved  situation but it didn't solve the problem completely. The various holes in the interior walls through which drain pipes pass and some other holes in out-of-sight places together with the ventilation bricks made sure that the draughts were never completely sealed off. Last year we had cavity wall insulation fitted and the ventilation bricks changed and that improved things even more but still the wind gets into the house in some places. Also last year I made a start on the proposed garden toilet we hope to build in the now isolated room beneath the kitchen. I say isolated but it is still accessible from the garden. My readers will remember I sealed it off from the other rooms in the cellar last year. Now then, E was telling me about the draught she could feel from beneath the kitchen units by the sink. I stood by the sink and could feel the draught in my nether regions too. I investigated and sealed off the hole around the water pipes to reduce the draught but it still remained to some degree. The reason for that is the room beneath now has no ceiling as such so the joists and floorboards  which make up the kitchen floor are now exposed. I have filled in the gaps beneath the units with foam rubber as a temporary cure, (it worked). The two doors leading out to the garden into that isolated room are in no way draught proof and because the wind is blowing directly upon them the room itself has become the source of the kitchen draughts. It becomes it all the more important that I make some progress toward completing that garden toilet project as soon as I am able.

Shirley Anne

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