Yesterday I was lying on a beach in Swansea, getting sunburned - quite a contrast to eleven days previously, when I was looking out from Warrior at (allowing for slight exaggeration as everybody does it) three inches of snow.
The week before last I was lying in front of the stove (well, I occasionally sat up and did some work), admiring it, and the stovepipe that works so well, and the hearth, and the fender, which I polished, and I remembered that I've never posted any photos, at least not in situ, of the fender which we bought in that lovely antique shop in Brewood. Until we saw it we hadn't been quite sure how we were going to finish the hearth off to suit the stove, and this was our inspiration. The steel base of the hearth had to be cut to shape, and new sections of wooden flooring put down (our very last off cuts) to fill the gap, and a bit of skirting replaced, but it was well worth it. Well, I think so anyway. I get so much pleasure from looking at the whole set-up. It certainly beats having a TV.
And we are finally making progress towards the final finishing touch - a sheet of copper to go on the wooden panelling behind the pipe. We have identified a couple of suppliers (I had the genius inspiration on the way home last time of asking a friend who's an enameller) and will get on with ordering a piece very soon. Back in our Whilton-browsing days one boat that stuck in my mind had copper behind the stovepipe and even old and unpolished it looked great. There used to be a piece of stainless steel there on Warrior, although it wasn't anything like full height, and that just wouldn't look right now. We can use it as a pattern though, for where it's formed around the trim at the gunwale.