Home is where the hearth is...
Just a quick update on the hearth. It's now lime plastered, Carl Rimes (Woodstock Carpentry and Decoration in Hertfordshire) repaired the wooden hearth surround, Lenny raked out the joints and re-pointed in lime mortar with a bit of coal dust added to mellow the colour a little, and Lenny and I put down the self-levelling latex screed.
I 'only' have to tile and grout it, and I've bought some stuff called DG27 (Quarzgrund in German) from Mike Wye & Associates, which should allow me to skim a lime top coat over the whole chimney breast to make it all a little neater. It's 'ye olde worlde' enough as it is. :-)
Ah, and here's the link to the stove that we'll have put in. It's a Jotul F 100, the woodburning version with high legs. First we thought it would look absolutely awful with those curly arches and decoration, but after a VERY LONG and ARDUOUS selection process, we've settled on it for its performance and ease of use (we hope).