Oh dear, our tall one has joined the small one in being ill. The weather has become very cold. Pipe-bursting cold. Gather-more-wood-in wintry cold. I made a crumble for breakfast, and later a slow-cooked stew, on one of our two wood stoves, starting them on the gas hob first.
I was delighted to learn from a good friend that the circles in the top of it are covers that can be removed, and a pot settled in to cook directly over the fire.
The seasoned wood came from a tree surgeon in the neighbourhood, and we’re learning how to store it, how to build a good fire, where the best kindling can be found around our house. We love to sit around the fire; with the children ill today it was good to have tea there, to knit and to read to them. I find something intrinsically pleasing about this immediate connection with fuel and warmth.
Of course, sitting round the fire on an antique trunk isn’t quite as comfortable as on an antique sofa, which we’re anticipating the arrival of. We’ve been hunting for beautiful, old, solid furniture and have a couple of antique pieces on their way. One of them is due very late tonight, I’m not entirely sure why, but then we’re just getting used to the way country life works. Next is the search for a sturdy old copper kettle to sit on the stove to keep us with plenty of hot water for tea, and save the energy of firing up the electric kettle off and on all day long. Soon we’ll have a table and chairs, and it will be a pleasure to eat, draw, study, and visit round a table again, not far from our trusty wood stove all winter.