Dove dive

Rather splendidly, the major fuss I made here the other day has got it out of my system and I’ve been feeling better since then..  In part because there is too much else to do – once I took in that I haven’t time to hang about, there’s so much to be getting on with, I stopped dwelling on the frustration that the thing that we are waiting for has not happened.  And so I’m still burning the candles (just at one end) but I’m listening to music too in the evenings.

This morning, I had just woken up when, at around 6 o’clock, I heard the sound of a dove falling down the bedroom chimney.  I knew it was a dove because I could hear that it was a large bird, but pigeons never do fall down.  Maybe they just have a better sense of balance.  There is a board in front of the fireplace and a chest of drawers in front of that.  When we got up, we moved them and left the windows open and the door shut.  I don’t know if it got out as I went out for lunch; the Sage shut them later on the assumption that it had probably gone.  I hope so.  We will find out at first light tomorrow; if it is still there it will start to flutter again and I will get up straight away and let it go.  There are ledges in the old chimney where it was sitting when I looked for it this morning.  As you can tell, I’ve dealt with this regularly over the past 25 years.

We do occasionally have birds come down the drawing room chimney, but less frequently, and they are smaller birds.  This chimney is lined so there are no ledges.  Once, my cleaning lady came to tell me, in some agitation, that there were two black and white birds flying around the room.  A pair of swallows had fallen down.  We were able to get them out of the window, but there was a fair amount of clearing up to do.  At least, since we never light a fire in the bedroom, there is no soot.

14 comments on “Dove dive

  1. Dave

    I think, if I were doing that regularly for 25 years, I would have found a way (even if it was just a piece if chicken wire on top) to stop birds falling down. Presumably if you never light the fire, you could completely cover that chimney pot.

  2. Sir Bruin

    I’m sure that I read somewhere that tying a brick to a chicken and dropping it down the chimney was a good way of sweeping it. This has no real relevance to your post, but I thought that I would share it anyway.

  3. Z

    How sensible, Dave. Maybe you would like to suggest how, without going to the expense of scaffolding or hiring a cherry picker? The chimney pot is 6 feet tall and could not bear the weight of a ladder with someone standing on it, leaning against it.

    Good idea, Rog.

    A brick tied to a dove might do it, Sir B.

  4. Dave

    A 6′ tall person, standing on top of a ladder propped at the foot of the pot, could surely reach up enough to put a piece of slate (or tile) over the opening. Or use one of those extending arm thingies that old people use to reach things.

  5. Sir Bruin

    A dove may well suffice. However, I imagine that a larger bird (the aforementioned chicken, for instance) would dislodge more soot on the way down. Come to that, a large, fluffy cat might be equally effective.

  6. Mike and Ann

    Sir Bruin. The last time I saw it done a large black cockerel was used on a very wide Tudor chimney. No need to tie a brick or anything else to the bird. It takes two blokes – one at the top to shove the bird into the top of the chimney . It then comes down under its own weight flapping its wings like mad, and these brush the sides of the chimney very effectively. The second chap stands at the bottom of the chimney to catch the bird before it spreads the soot around the house. I’m not too sure what colour the cockerel was at the start of the operation, but it was a BLACK cockerel by the end.

  7. Sir Bruin

    Mike – sounds like an effective method. Do you think a cat would be as good? Maybe a sheep? I believe shoving small children up chimneys was also quite good.

  8. Mike and Ann

    Well, I’ve tried the other traditional method. It works well enough. A good many years ago I cleared another large Tudor chimney by firing a blunderbuss up it. Loads of soot, etc. came down, and, rather to my surprise, that old chimney rang like a bell – a sort of echoing ca-boom. If you should be asked to clear a chimney one day when you’re out without your blunderbuss I’m told a fairly large bore shotgun works just as well.
    Sorry Z, I’m clogging up your blog and getting well away from the subject, which was, I think, doves coming down chimneys.
    Regards, Mike.

  9. Mike and Ann

    P.s. That might sound as if I’d tried the child up a chimney method, and I didn’t mean that at all. Probably good for the chimney, not so good for the child.

  10. Roses

    I’m a big fan of making a major fuss…and then getting on with it. In fact, I believe 10 days ago I did make a major fuss and was also much better for it.

    So hear hear to major fusses!

    I also have chimneys but happily no birds. The cat would be mightily impressed.

  11. Z

    Without leaning on the pot at all, standing on the top rung? Dave, surely it brought on your vertigo even to suggest it! We may be slow in Norfolk, but no one’s daft enough to try that – I trust your tongue was well in your cheek.

    Carry on, Sir B and Mike. I’m always willing to learn. And I’ve got plenty of grandchildren, all about the right size, if the chickens aren’t willing.

    I am cooking a lot of food for tomorrow’s party, Mago. The Sage says thank you.

    I’ve mellowed out nicely, Roses. And my sister is here now, although she has already outdrunk me and I’ve had to admit defeat.

    We’ll keep one burning night and day, John. Yours is a rather more practical suggestion than Dave’s!


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