The chimney sweep came to sort out two of our chimneys today. Most disappointing. For one thing, he was called Nigel, instead of Bert - very un-sweep-like. For another his methods were untraditional. He had one of those big chim-chim-cheree brushes, but it was yellow not black; and he mainly used an industrial hoover. Also, there was a complete absence of small boys (in varying sizes, ranging from 'tiny' to 'really rather small', to fit every size and shape of flue) in cloth caps waiting to do a cheery song-and-dance routine. Which was a great pity, because we have the scaffolding up for our loft conversion at the moment, so I was fully expecting to join Nigel and a cast of thousands for a Mary Poppins singalong on my roof. As it was, Nigel looked at me a little oddly and asked who I was talking to just because I was discussing the weather with the cat. I don't think the man had much imagination.
Anyway, £50 later (yes, really. If I'd realised I'd have shoved the end of the Dyson, and probably the fluffier one of our cats for good measure, up the chimney myself) we have two chimneys that are considerably less full of debris. They may not be clean enough to eat your dinner off, but hopefully they won't drop bits of mortar all over a) our fire, and b) our bedroom floor, respectively.