As we were driving we heard the weather report - rain was expected over the weekend, and they were predicting snow on Sunday! Perfect :-) If you're not living in, and confined to a caravan, anything is bearable.
After a leisurely drive we arrived in Barrydale at 2.15pm and made straight for Negosiegat. After choosing our stove, and waiting whilst the storekeeper had it loaded onto the back of his bakkie (double cab) we led the way to our farm. I was so excited - I had saved for this stove 3 times over the past two years - twice before I had had to use the money for other more essentials, but now, finally, I had it. (I make salad dressing for a few restaurants locally, and had saved up the 'profit' from that.)
This first photo was taken with my phone camera just after it had been placed in it's position in the kitchen - the quality of the photo isn't so good, but I was too excited to care.
Things were looking positive - now all we had to do was install the chimney! A piece of cake, I thought. Easier said than done. The height of the outlet had been placed as high as possible on the internal wall in order to utilize the heat from the chimney as well - only trouble was the hole was made using scaffolding and now all we had was a 3.2mtr aluminium ladder or a homemade 4.5mtr ladder - the latter being very dubious. It was made out of builders planks which had been left on site - it definitely works, but the steps are +/- .75mtr apart - not easy to scale and work from. And the chimney outlet was 4mtrs high. So homemade ladder it had to be. It is so heavy that it takes 4 grown men to move into place...
Just a bit of advice regarding new Dover Stoves - because of the black paint that its' coated with, when you first light it the paint visibly smokes and gives off a very unpleasant smell - if possible I would recommend lighting it outside before it is installed. We managed to get rid of the fumes through opening all the windows - it took about an hour to an hour-an-a-half to sort out. Do so wish we'd been forwarned though.
Hey! Hey! Hey! We have a working Dover stove - on my birthday and just in time! It was freezing! That morning we had woken to ice cold thick mist - I took a wander down our driveway and snapped this shot:
Yes, that is the caravan and house in the background. When the mist lifted and the clouds cleared off the mountain we saw that they were full of snow - it literally covered the top 1/4 of them! Brilliant! I l-o-v-e snow - must be my British roots. And now we had the wherewithall to keep warm!
I was absolutely no help - and felt helpless. It was very dangerous as the wind was howling and I wasn't happy about RMan being up the wonky ladder at the best of times. But he persevered and when the first puff of smoke came out of the chimney you would've thought that a new pope had just been elected!
And finally, we also managed to give the internal walls a coat of Harlequin low VOC plaster primer. Low VOC is definitely the way forward - we couldn't smell a thing - and we slept in the room - and if we can't smell anything then there are minimal fumes leeching into the atmosphere!
It took a day a wall to paint - therefore to give the walls two coats of low VOC paint will take us roughly 10 days - allowing two days for the bathroom and small passage as well.
All in all a very constructive "long" weekend's work. We extended the weekend by three days, only arriving back in Cape Town on Thursday afternoon - now why does that always make me feel guilty... we are allowed to take time off.