Here are Aristotle and Cnut. Cnut is the fire and he is posing a considerable dilemma. He was put in in defiance of the laws of physics (hence his given name) – he is a new fire put in on the site of an old one. He sits well forward of the old fire. He sits SO far forward that the smoke from him cannot both observe the laws of physics AND go up the chimney. Said smoke prefers physics to chimney.
Aristotle is the BEST present I was EVER given – he is a stout but reasonably light pointed pole, and though not long enough to move the world, he does a good job at compensating for the lack of testosterone and therefore brute muscle in myself.
He has worked hard, but sadly has revealed a dilemma.
The old fire has a beautiful sandstone frame, of the kind beloved by interior decorators. The nice thing to do would be to clear out the cavity within and get a wood burning stove. However sadly this frame sits slightly recessed to the current plaster wall, which sits VERY proud of the wall behind, in order to prevent rising damp. In due time, it would be pretty simple to replace this wall and put a modern damp proof membrane in, thus taking the wall back. (As will need doing on two other walls in this room anyhow.)
So, it might be simpler to put in my existing fire surround and copper inset thingy. But, but, Cnut was made absurdly broad to go over the outside of the real old fireplace, and I would need to do a LOT of patching up.
I am very open to suggestions.