Roll on winter

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When it comes to DIY in every family home there are things you need to do and things you want to do. There are also things you can do yourself and things you should leave well alone.

I am sure I am not the only person to have a partner who appears to begin a ‘project’, but never finishes. Husband, if you are reading, take note.

We have lived in our current home for nearly six years, and it has been a long slog of renovation and repair.

There is only so much of course that you can afford to do at once, and so we have prioritised by necessity, as opposed to want. Until now.

My husband and I have always yearned for the cosy heat of a wood-burning stove, and our yurting holiday in Cornwall last year – complete with stove – sealed the deal.

We decided we would allow one more winter to pass before biting the bullet and just going for it, and finally, we have.

With huge thanks to the wonderful Chris Rogers, of Black Cab Chimney Sweeps of Portsmouth, the Lush family is now the proud owners of one multi-fuel stove.

From my very first, rather tentative, phone call to Chris, to the final handshake upon his leaving after fitting the stove, the service was utterly impeccable.

In conjunction with the lovely Mike of Seymours’ Fireplaces in Albert Road, the entire operation has been smooth sailing.

It could have gone horribly wrong had we employed companies that didn’t have the expertise of Chris, from the opening of our chimney breast to the hydraulics system required to drop the liner down the chimney.

However, I have rarely received such high quality customer service.

Chris and Mike communicated seamlessly throughout the process, prices were discussed with honesty in advance, and advice was given on which fuel to use, where to purchase it, and how best to work the stove for optimum performance and safety.

Black Cab Chimney Sweeps of Portsmouth was founded in 2002 by Chris, who was previously a fireman. They are members of all necessary organisations (and then some), and were perfect gentlemen too. No mess, great advice, prompt and reliable and at an excellent cost. I could not have asked for more.

It’s safe to say that we are probably the only family in the area now looking forward to colder weather!

Verity Lush is a 38-year-old mum-of-two who lives in Portsmouth.

She is a tutor in philosophy, English and maths and has written a book for newly-qualified teachers, plus textbooks and articles for teaching magazines and supplements.
Follow her on Twitter @lushnessblog