Monday, June 8, 2009



Today was our annual visit from the Chimney Sweeper. We were told when we moved here the inspector will come to your house and you can not refuse the service and you must let him in it is German law! You must have your chimney inspected and cleaned once a year. I've read it the job was created back during the Nazi era and the cities are divided into "sweep" Districts. The cleaners are well trained 12 years before getting there own district and often volunteer for the fire dept. Our is very nice and knows perfect English which is a huge plus in my book.
We never use our fireplace, doesn't matter, it's the law. They also inspect your heating system, ours is brand new, doesn't matter it's the law. I'm told the cost range from 50 Euros to 100 Euros per visit but a law is a law. And I have fire issues so it is a piece of mind.

I'm a bit of a clean freak so when our soot covered sweeper came today, he had me a little worried of the mess he would leave behind. Other than the smell, not a speck of soot in my house. But I wondered about his car, his house, his washing machine, his nails etc... does he really ever come clean? Does he always smell like soot...seriously could you imagine being married to that smell forever?

24 comments:

Rachel said...

Yuck! I bet he makes good money, though! ;)

Every year we have a family of Chimney Swifts (birds!) make a nest inside our chimney. We can hear the babies in there (and one year we could actually see them from the fireplace, the nest was so low!) The noise is unbelievable, we can't use our fireplace even if we want to (we do use ours) and the novelty wears off in about one day, but you know what? We have to let them stay because it's also the law! They're endangered or something!

Deidra said...

I love what I learn here about Germany! I agree that speaking English is a bonus. I wonder if he gets to charge more for that skill. We've never had our chimney cleaned...and we have two of them. I'm just too afraid to find out what might be in there. Silly, I know.

preppyplayer said...

For some reason I keep picturing Mary Poppins...

Kwana said...

The law is the law! LOL. Being a city girl I love using our fireplace. We got our guy through PVE and love him. e's also very clean and I don't know how he does it. Must be quite a skill.

the Preppy Princess said...

We so love reading about customs in places where we have spent time, but not the kind of time needed to learn this kind of thing...we would never even think about chimney sweepers! You know what we think of here at the Prepatorium when we hear the words chimney sweep: Dick van Dyke and Mary Poppins!

Great post! Danke!
tp

Sheryl said...

I am learning so much about Germany through your post. I am so glad you are sharing your experiences with us.

Ann said...

Now I have the Mary Poppins song in my head!

Ina in Alaska said...

Well you WERE thinking about a Lover the other day...... :)

Shady Lady said...

Chim chim cheree...

Ronda said...

Oh wow, every year???? I really have to have ours done. I can't remember when it was cleaned last! This is terrible, I'm so glad you posted this. I'll have it done this year.
Hope you had a nice weekend.
When do you come back to the States?
XOXO

Joyce said...

Oh Kathy you are the funny one! I can top this smell, well actually not me, but a good friend of mine. Her husband is a vet for cows and steers, so you can imagine what he smells like coming home. Phew... I went with him once on his run. She has a washer and dryer in the garage for his clothes that he takes off and puts in the washer before he comes in the house. She is a total neat freak. LOL... I feel for him during the winter months. His truck is named the stink mobile. LOL...

Somer Love said...

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-ee!
A sweep is as lucky
As lucky can be

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when
I shake 'ands with you
Or blow me a kiss
And that's lucky too

Now as the ladder of life
'As been strung
You may think a sweep's
On the bottommost rung

Though I spends me time
In the ashes and soot
In this 'ole wide world
There's no 'appier bloke

Up where the smoke is
All billered and curled
'Tween pavement and stars
Is the chimney sweep world

When the's 'ardly no day
Nor 'ardly no night
There's things 'alf in shadow
And 'alf way in light
On the roof tops of London
Coo, what a sight!

I choose me bristles with pride
Yes, I do
A broom for the shaft
And a broom for the flume

Though I'm covered with soot
From me 'ead to me toes
A sweep knows 'e's welcome
Wherever 'e goes

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-ee!
When you're with a sweep
You're in glad company

No where is there
A more 'appier crew
Than them wot sings
"Chim chim cher-ee
Chim cher-oo!"
On the chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-ee
Chim cher-oo!

Judith Shakespeare said...

I had a really great comment... until I read that last comment and the song drove it straight out of me. LOL

WhisperingWriter said...

Like your other noters, I'm totally thinking of Mary Poppins now and I wanted to scream out, "BURT!" when you talked about the chimney sweeper.

bernthis said...

funny they don't have a law requiring you to let then clean your house.

♥ Braja said...

I know someone who's a chimney sweep and he's the cleanest guy in the world; not a drop of that smell around him. It's all up to the individual, I'd say....as is any kind of personal cleanliness.

Belle said...

It's better than a fisherman!

Coffee with Cathy said...

Even with all the mess, I miss having a wood-burning fireplace ... except for the dirt and the work and the constant threat of wayward fire and the errant birds and the wood chips that you can never get rid of. But I'm a little afraid of my gas fireplace, so I'd trade convenience for actual fire any day.

pve design said...

Chim, Chim chareee-We have a fabulous man, a wonderful chimney sweeper who checks ours annually.
Must be my German blood and my love for a crackling fire!

heidi said...

Did you shake his hand for good luck?!

Courtney said...

It sounds like that job is quite honorable though - I mean it takes that long to get your own distract AND the fact that it's a law enforced role. Talk about job security, huh?!!

I love that he left the house spotless. Wonder how he does it and wonder if he could teach my dog (and husband) a few of his tricks!

Jodi said...

Funny!!!! Your post reminds me of a guy I dated who was a chef. Same smell situation - never really leaves... Is it murphy's law?

Fifi Flowers said...

I feel like singing the Mary Poppins song and dancing on a rooftop when I hear the words chimney sweeper... loved that movie!

Such Lovely Freckles said...

Yep, it's the law... and us Germans know a thing or two about laws. LOL Nice post.