Friday, April 23, 2010

Fire? Heater? Stove?

I am not quite sure what to call it, but it is in the house! After sitting outside on the verandah, mostly still in its packaging, for weeks the wood burner is now in our sitting room. It was installed with many calls of "She's right, Mate!" up and down the chimney as the various pieces of the old one came out, and the new one went in. Some parts seemed to go well, and others needed a lot of banging and drilling and some words were said, but it all came together in the end. I did my part with coffee and closed ears, and Dave provided the food, not cake to go with the hot drinks, but smoked fish, that seemed to go down really well.

So today is the cleanup, and put all the ornaments back, day. We will have to light the stove during a really hot day, as it may stink a bit when lit for the first time, and we will need to open all the doors and windows. Then it will settle down and heat the whole house?

The only other burner I have ever had anything to do with was a coal stove we had to heat our damp house outside Cape Town, when Paddy was a baby. Dave would keep it going beautifully for weeks, and then go to sea for a few days sampling the shark catch, and the stove would go out as soon as I touched it. I tried being nice and gentle, I tried being tough and aggressive, it just didn't like me. I am therefore very wary of this new heater and am not really that keen to get involved with it. Unfortunately it is next to the TV, which I watch, and nowhere near Dave's study and his computer, so I am going to have to learn to keep it alight if I want to stay warm through this winter.

It has a flat top to put pots or kettles on, so we can save a lot on electricity by cooking on it, and it will, I hope, be great for a quick cup of coffee when we come in from floundering. We just need to get a suitable kettle and we are away!


  1. My Mom always keeps a pot of water on her wood stove. It gives the air a bit of humidity if the house is getting dry. I also recommend getting some powdered fire extinguisher stuff and keeping it nearby. That saved us several times from having chimney fires.

  2. Thank you! Our house is built of wood, rather than the brick I am used to, I will certainly source some extinguisher stuff. At the moment we are having our second really wet day, but we may need to add moisture later. Specially if there is a chance the chimney could burn!

  3. A good slow-combustion wood stove is a very effective thing. You'll get yeoman service out of this one, and you'll learn to love it.

  4. Nostalgia.
    I remember a house in England where we stayed many years ago (circa 1950s). Huge Aga cooker fed hot water to all the clanky rattling radiators, but best of all it heated the cupboard in the bathroom.

    Leap out of the bath in the chill of winter all pink and sparkling clean, grab and wrap up in a warm bath towel from the cupboard, bliss.

  5. I really fancy the idea of a hot towel, I will have to train for short sprints as the bath is at the wrong end of the house!