Maybe it was my early years reading ‘Little House on the Prairie‘ that did it, but I have always had a hankering for a stove in the kitchen.
In previous lives, I have been lucky enough to have owned a temperamental baby blue coal fired Aga in my first house – a 300 year old ‘Weavers Cottage’ in the North Yorkshire Moors.Then came a second hand cream coloured oil fired Rayburn – inherited from my stove loving then Mother in Law. However my ‘I’ve finally made it ‘moment was the purchase of a gleaming British racing car green gas Aga in my first house build. It was perfect. The house hugged around it and dogs, children, visitors all gravitated towards this new heart of a new home. It was also almost impossible to set fire to anything. The chicken I once left in overnight, when found, was simply dust 🙂
How I missed her when we moved.
Fast forward 15 years.
We moved to Paradise in late ( southern hemisphere) Spring so we are now knowledgeable about the heat and Marlborough summer winds and how the house / we cope with those, but the winter cold is a new one. ( Apologies to those living in real cold – I’m only talking currently of lows at 0/1c or 32F !). Yesterday however felt so cold that it was time to attempt to light the stove we have inherited which has been somewhat neglected so far in the kitchen.
She’s a beauty but she’s very old – a brown Shacklock Orion . So it was with a little trepidation that we set about lighting.
It’s fair to say the first few times entailed more smoke than fire, but after a little practice we’ve got it sussed and I’m so thrilled with the result. She’s actually a really easy starter – a few minutes and a little maintenance and we have a warm toasty addition to the kitchen. And what a difference it has made. Visitors have started gravitating to her and there is much warming of hands and bums as well as being a great conversation piece ! The Doodles spend a lot of time just lingering and are thrilled with the new heat source in their ‘bedroom’ :). And I now have another oven to use which gives far better results than a gas or electric equivalent and I must admit I do get a thrill from knowing that there is no cost to us except a quick trudge to the wood stack ( which M has valiantly produced from fallen branches and surplus trees around the patch).
It’s definitely my current happy place . Roll on winter 🙂