October 30, 2008
The Chimney Sweeps.
The other morning I had a very curious encounter. I had my fireplace built last year and this was the first time the chimney sweeps came by to clean it, since it was constructed. I have had fireplaces before, especially while living in the US, but I never saw anyone cleaning them. As I guess the property managers took care of it while I was at work.
I think I was mostly amazed by the fact that chimney sweeps still do exist. This strikes me now as a bit ignorant on my part, as of course how else would the chimneys get cleaned? I remember seeing them as a child, as I remember reading the fairytale by H. Ch. Andersen, "The Shepherdess and The Chimney Sweep".
But I have no idea why I have never seen them since. Perhaps I never paid enough attention. They wear the same uniforms they have worn for ages, black with golden buttons, cap or hat on their head. And they still use - mostly- the same equipment they always have. They climb the roofs and use long brushes in chimneys and are all covered with ashes and sot in their faces. It was an amusing and pleasant encounter. Where I come from, the encounter with a chimney sweep is considered to be a lucky one. It is encouraged to touch the buttons of their uniform for luck. I almost did it, but then changed my mind, as they would most likely consider me a bit odd. But perhaps that would have made their encounter with me unforgettable as well.