From fairly early this afternoon, Hilary could hear little noises coming from the soba (wood stove). At first she thought it was our neighbours doing some kind of work on their houses (as that was going on as well) but the noises were all coming from the wrong place to be that. It had to be something inside the soba.
She forgot to mention it. We did other things. But, later, when she went into the front house to process BBQ’d aubergines for dinner, the noise was ongoing. It sounded very much like a bird had got trapped in the soba.
Hilary is not keen on birds in houses so Ashley was called upon to investigate. At first he thought it might be a bat, trapped in the soba. Opening it and taking out the fire bucket revealed nothing. Our soba is essentially a double walled stove made of mild steel with cast iron grill on top, within which a bucket of wood is placed. The offending creature appeared to be trapped between the two walls, which would necessitate a complete dismantle. Off came the grill, this revealed a fully-fledged sparrow. Only it was stuck in a confined space too small to allow its wings to be used for flight. The inner of the double walls had to be taken out, this involved lots of pulling and pushing and levering, and bending of mild steel – pliers came in very helpful. Eventually the thing came away. Hilary was sent to get a newspaper and, whilst she was gone, the sparrow flew straight out of the window.
Whilst the soba was in bits we took the opportunity to vacuum it out very thoroughly. Then Ashley had the fun of putting the soba back together. Aligning screws into bent soft metal is not the easiest of tasks. Ashley was covered in soot by the end of it all, not pleasant and Hilary had the task of cleaning the filters from the vacuum cleaner.
It gave us something to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon.