Monday, August 4, 2008

Curates egg

We have joined an exclusive club. Now, I too, every morning and evening, have to clamp a dog’s head between my knees, squirt fluid in there and poke about with cotton wool whilst trying to avoid head shake fall out. Porridge’s ears are then unbearably tickly itchy and she races to the nearest field to squirm about in and acquire burrs.

I staggered to the music school carrying about 2 kilos of paperwork and discs representing my career up to the present, and have a mild sense of anticlimax after all the work involved. Worthy and learned jurists will be listening, reading and judging and might even deign to reply by November as to whether I will be accepted on the course…

We have a “new” kitchen god. Yesterday, we left at 11 am and drove so far south that we were amongst fields of vines. Triumphantly we returned at 6 pm, towing the heavy beast wobbling in the trailer. After struggling and pushing and blackening our hands and screwing ramps on and unscrewing them, it was placed in the corner of the kitchen on its plinth available to be worshipped or just generally admired.
“What on earth is that?” says Drummer boy in horror.
“It is a secondhand woodburning cooking stove,” I say bravely with lip trembling as I contemplate a return to barbarism.
I can still remember with a shudder that moment 20 years ago when we first came to Brittany looking for a house to buy, and a farmer’s wife was showing us her kitchen and garden.
“Look, here is the lavoir”, she said proudly, pointing to a pond with a large flat stone beside it where she did her washing.
Am I at the top of a slippery slope? I ask myself.
Will My sweet H suggest a little pond when the washing machine breaks? (which is likely to be soon…)

My relationships with wood stoves up to the present have been complex and generally filled with animosity on both sides. I usually play Casey Jones to their locomotive, interrupting whatever I am doing to shove wood into the hungry maw at 5 minute intervals only to have them go out or smoke everywhere. I note with alarm the tiny wood box which looks as though it will require nourishment at 1 minute intervals…


I think I will call it an AGA, it sounds more sophisticated…

8 comments:

Marianne said...

Oh wow - it looks like you'll be well heated come winter - I love those kind of stoves. I think you should draw the (washing) line at the pond and stone though.

Mike said...

Many years ago we actually heated our home with wood. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was so much work.

Lucy said...

Aaaarhga! more like. Bon courage!

And good luck with the applications, both of ear drops and to be a music teacher.

Zhoen said...

Growing up with a coal furnace, with the colds and black snot to prove it, I send my commiserations.

hexe said...

Good luck with the application and the stove. Looks like your summer project will be splitting and stacking wood - Yuck!

amy said...

Now I feel like we should drag back in the (very similar) stove we dragged out to the barn when we first moved in. Wood burners seem like a must!

good luck with the application process.

meggie said...

Oh I dread fires of any type. I am hopeless at starting them, & hopeless at keeping them going, usually. Though I did use an old coal range at the country Hotel we had, & it did cook some nice roasts. It warmed the kitchen in dead of winter, when the outside temp was 4 degrees celcius!

Dick said...

As the only man in christendom who can't manage a barbecue, I shall watch progress with interest.