One of the upsides of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano eruption and the resulting ash cloud has been a cloudless sky, devoid of any vapour trails. Saturday began with a trip into Headington to collect 1920’s original fireplace from Nicola. Having just about fitted it into Emma’s car we headed home and carried it indoors where straight away we saw what an improvement it would be. Then we popped into Bicester to buy our veggies from the market, a cornish pasty and a custard tart for lunch and went for a picnic and potter in the Lyde Garden, Bledlow (via my sis-in-law’s home-to-be in Chinnor).

Following a relaxing amble in the birdsong and sunshine we got stressed out and rudely woken back into the 21st century by a trp to B&Q – we were duped into believing they had affordable fire hearths, when in fact all they sold were cheap and nasty tacky things. Edit: expensive and tacky hearths. So we came home from via our own Homebase where we bought three pieces of Blue/Black Limestone (which we thought was actually slate) to make a hearth and a very large sheet of MDF make a backing for the fireplace. A sheet of MDF so large in fact that it wouldn’t fit in the car and I had to leave my driving license at the desk to be allowed to walk the wood home on the trolley round the ringroad!!

On Sunday, whilst Emma cleaned out the chickies and the bunny I worked on deconstructing the old fireplace and installing the new one, and it looks fab! So, so nice!

The old, an MDF Inca Mausoleum circa 2005…

The new, a 1920s wooden fireplace that cost £20 and a half a dozen eggs…