Sunday, 6 November 2011

First light

I have essays to mark. So, naturally, this seems like the perfect time to show you the newest addition to our family: a stove for burning wood (and coal). Installed in my work-room due to the prohibitive cost of mainstream fuel (gas, electricity) and my tendency to shut down when the temperature drops below 30º. Not only does it keep me more than warm enough (woollens have had to be removed!), its surface is hot enough to activate an espresso pot and heat milk to frothing temperature. No more electric kettle for me, not more gas ring, no more microwave: my staple latte can now be made without using any extra energy. I feel so green. Later in the week I hope to make a casserole on it.
Some photos (in the wrong order, really):
First cup of stove coffee.

This morning's coffee brewing (Stevie bought me the pot yesterday).

First fire, made by Derek (who installed it) to show me how to light and 'cure' it. 
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Carole said...

Very cool! Or should I say warm. Just the flames alone warm the soul. I think you will enjoy this so much. Wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Hey, what a Champion! Good luck with it, hope you will always have enough wood and coal. Cooking on it is couragious!

angryparsnip said...

well I shall try again to comment, blogger doesn't like me today.

Fabulous, Beautiful, Wonderful and really cute.

Love the first photo especially.

Funny side note, I was just thinking this morning that I really would like my coffee maker in my studio but then I remember my doctor saying "more walking !" and I thought against it.
I have a fire place in my studio but it is on a wall far from my worktable and with my luck I would blow my home up !
At one time before I bought this home I really just wanted a big studio workroom room with small kitchen attache, ah well.....

Love your workroom/office space !

cheers, parsnip

Sharon Longworth said...

I spent the first hour of today looking at different pictures of wood-burners, with the distant hope that one day we might get one. I am, of course deeply jealous - yours is a thing of beauty.

nick said...

Sounds good. So is there some local woodland where you can pick up some free fuel or do you still have to buy it?

Eryl said...

Carole ~ it's like having a new baby in the house, I can't stop prodding it to make sure it's alive.

I am very much enjoying being warm, it's freezing out.

Mago ~ cooking on it may not work, but I'm hoping it will work like a back burner, I'll just have to remember to keep it topped up so it stays hot enough.

Parsnip ~ there is a lot to be said for getting up and walking about away from your work, and making coffee can provide a good reason to do this. If I didn't smoke I'd probably only leave this room to go to the loo!

A huge workroom with small kitchen attached sounds dreamy.

Sharon ~ until a week ago last Wednesday – when I arrived home from work to find this in the hall – I was exactly the same. For years I've wanted one of these, and then the blacksmith, who sells them, had a spare going cheap! So don't give up hope.

Nick ~ tons of local woodland around here, so, although I'm too chicken to go blatantly picking up bits of tree, wood is available cheaply if you buy it in large enough quantities.

Pat said...

Maybe you could also press creases out with it as I do with the Aga. More fun than ironing.

Kim Ayres said...

Wonderful! There are few things more cosy than a lit stove. Nice large coffee pot too :)

Lizzie said...

Doesn't that look seriously cosy for the coming Winter?! - I want one!

Scarlet Blue said...

In England, there is some sort of government incentive for installing wood-burners, I think. I will look into it.
Lovely though, eh? Beautiful and practical.

Eryl said...

Pat ~ that does sound like fun, I'll give it a go.

Kim ~ my best 'lit stove' experience is still walking into your house for a party a few winters ago after battling through swirling rains. I think it is that abiding memory that persuaded Stevie to get one

Lizzie ~ I definitely think you should get one!

Scarlet ~ I must tell my sister that, she is exhibiting serious stove envy!
I'd say they personify the perfect marriage of form and function.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Right out of "Little House on the Prairie." It's back to the past!

Eryl said...

UB ~ you're right, my god, and I've been browsing toasting forks! I fear living in the country has turned me.

debra said...

It looks lovely, Eryl! I've wanted a wood stove for a long time. and coffee with steamed milk, and foam.....

The World According To Me said...

What a lovely cosy house you have.

Eryl said...

Debra ~ remembering your winter photos I think you need a wood stove more than I do!

Worldy ~ thank you; it's much cosier now!

alphawoman said...

A million years ago in another universe I had a "Warm Morning" pot bellied stove when it was cost prohibitive to fill a tank full of heating fuel. Needless to say, it was one of the coldest winters on record with multiple snow storms and one blizzard. I learned how to bank the damn thing at night and then shake it down in the morning. Even though it was a lot of work, some many-odd years later I am smiling at the memory. Thanks.

Alesa Warcan said...

A number of members of my family also use and swear by stoves. Some day, when I move out of the city, I'll have one of my own... And there will definitely be popcorn involved. : j

Say, I couldn't help noticing that your cup looks handmade; does it have a story?

Eryl said...

Alpha ~ now I'm smiling at you smiling at the memory.

Alesa ~ popcorn is a brilliant idea!

It is handmade, but the only part of its story I know is that I bought it in the Lake District a few years ago and it's the perfect size for my morning coffee. I have a bowl by the same potter which is great for hummus. The one in the bottom picture is also handmade and came from a gorgeous, sadly now closed, ceramics gallery in Cambridge. The very gallery I cried in over being unable to buy one of Edmund de Waal's huge white porcelain vessels, but that's another story.

Kathryn Magendie said...

oh, how lovely and wonderful! We have one that is "fake" - it's run by electricity and I pretend it's real ... we do have a real fireplace though in our living room so I feel better about that fake one in the bedroom :)

angryparsnip said...

Eryl... every time I walk by "The Hare With Amber Eyes" I think of you and your story.
The first time I saw that book I was confused because I know him as a potter....and who is this writer who stole his name. how silly I am !

hope your much warmer now.

cheers, parsnip

Anonymous said...

deliciously old fashioned..

come the apolalypse your lattes will not reduce.

India Banks said...

hello Eryl~I'm loving the photographs and the new stove, the rug on the chest and the espresso pot and the general coziness of the room. It's no wonder you're not marking essays :) I remember. I haven't made the chocolate yogurt cake yet but will make it next week for my youngest daughter's birthday. happy grading, xx

Kass said...

Oh, you're so bohemian. It reminds me of Virginia Woolf's digs.

elizabeth said...

I'm green with envy.
Why didn't I see this sooner?
Yes, you are green and wonderful.
Suddenly cold here in the US.
Hope all is well with you.

word verification gods came up with


which is a bit mean, I think!

Eryl said...

Kat ~ a fake one in the bedroom is quite sensible, I'd say, I wouldn't want my bed coated in wood ash like everything in this room now is!

Parsnip ~ I thought exactly the same thing when I first heard of The Hare with Amber Eyes.

I am so cosy now.

Denise ~ as long as the apocalypse doesn't affect the coffee plantations I should be able to survive it.

India ~ did you make it? Was it good?

Kass ~ I like the idea of being bohemian, and in any way like Virginia Woolf.

Elizabeth ~ all is well, thank you. Cold here too, one of my students was late for class tonight as her car was frozen. Hope all is well with you, I will come and visit soon.

Monica said...

hey there!

over from worldexamingingworks.typepad.com

we have a wood stove and i love it so much i, a cold-hater, almost wish for cold weather just to fire it up.

is your mug really as big as it appears in that shot??

Mary Witzl said...

That looks a little like ours, which we love (though not so much the dust it tends to generate). I keep a kettle of water on it at all times and I've never had such a clean kitchen sink.

Meri said...

Where are you? Have you spontaneously combusted?

Eryl said...

Hello Monica, lovely to see you here. The mug is pretty big, probably about fifty percent larger than a standard mug.

Mary ~ I've been looking for a kettle to keep on this one, trouble is the one I saw that I love was ninety quid and now all others seem lacking.

Meri ~ still here! There's been so much going on, though, that I just haven't had the head-space to blog. Actually, I might blog about it!

rochambeau said...

FANTASTIC!! A heater and espresso maker all in one and SO nice looking!! Dear Eryl, It was lovely to feel your presence yesterday. It is my sincere hope that you will have the opportunity to read A Christmas Memory by Truman Copote. Since it's a shot story, you may find it in it's entirity on line. YOU will especially be moved by the story and the writing style, I think.

Hugs and HAPPY kick off to the season!


Jo said...

Do I spy a Bialetti? Stove coffee is the best! And, oh my what a stove you've got! Really gorgeous!

Eryl said...

Constance ~ I found in, in a book on my shelves, would you believe! I sat by the stove and read it last night, late, after I'd got all my work done. And you're right, I love it! X

Jo ~ thank you! Stove coffee is the best.