Saturday, 3 April 2010

Strange Bedfellows.


Let me introduce you to Stove - yes he needs a capital letter and yes, he is a he - there is absolutely no doubt about that. He sits under the mantel in our back sitting room and glowers - that is he glowers at me. I cannot deny that he is efficient - he fills the whole house with a lovely glowing warmth and has, in many ways, transformed our Winter here on the farm. But Stove is a man's man.

I call the farmer "Stove Man" because he deals so efficiently with Stove - cleaning him out in the morning, laying his new fire, keeping him stoked up and answering his every whim. But, you ask, what about your role with Stove.

Well, dear readers, Stove does not like me. With me he is a malevolent toad! If I light him, he promptly goes out or smoulders sulkily; if I have to stoke him up because the farmer is out then he traps my logs crossways on in his belly so that I can't get the lid shut; he burns my knuckles when I try to rearrange the logs in order to shut the door - and on the occasion when I accidentally dropped the opening tool into the fire he positively glowed with glee.

Don't tell me that he is an inanimate object and has no personality, for I know different. I am telling you, one night when I come down in the middle of the night to make a cup of tea that Stove will rise up on his legs and attack me. For that reason I shall keep a bucket of water behind the kitchen door and throw it at him when it happens - that will cool his fury. But when you read about it in the papers, remember that you read it here first!

26 comments:

ArtPropelled said...

I think it's time you let him know who is boss! LOL ... great post Weaver. So glad your back is much improved. Happy Easter!

steven said...

weaver - i love stoves - especially the old pot-belly stoves. i remember being in a youth hostel not far from hadrian's wall. i'd just finished a boggy wet stretch of the pennine way and entered this wooden building at the centre of which was a red glowing stove. the heat could have knocked me off my feet all on its own but a pint of theakston's on an empty stomach had already begun that process. happily i slumped into a dusty old overstuffed chair. bliss! weaver - the stove is about the bliss you get on a cold winter's night. oh and of course it's a man!!! steven

lakeviewer said...

Slow down, take a deep breath. Haven't you heard of fireplace gods before? They need patience and appreciation, coaxing their best efforts to continue to support your home fires. Good luck!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Too much testosterone!. I can just picture him, scurrying around in the middle of the night on those four stumpy little legs. Yes, you must definitely steer clear of Stove.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

I can see an evil grin in his flames. Perhaps he is balking at being beneath a buddha (not that I have anything against buddhas!)? Or, perhaps he needs to be smudged as N.A. Indians would do to remove any bad energy!! :)

Hildred and Charles said...

Well Weaver, despite his malevolence
he is really rather a handsome fellow. Although I suspect he nourishes an Enlarged Ego, and if I were you I would leave him to the Farmer. In another month he will have to face the fact he isn't needed anymore.....

Charles and I wish you a lovely blessed Easter.

Phillips said...

I love stoves. In my family the women are always in charge of the stove. Perhaps you need to ask the farmer for a lesson in how to light it.

mrsnesbitt said...

We should get a woodburner as we have a huge pile of wood! The Aga however keeps the place warm and is a welcome sight on a cold day!

Happy Easter
Dx

maggi21 said...

Lovely Pat - just show him who is boss. Maybe you should wave the water bucket at him from time to time, just so that he knows.

Elisabeth said...

Wonderful to hear that the fire in your belly is still burning, Weaver.

Please pardon the pun, but this is a delightful post and such a vivid way of describing old Man Stove.

At the risk of polarising into gender divides these things, I, too, have trouble lighting fires. I, too, rely on my husband who is a wizard both in lighting them and in keeping them alight.

But he grew up in the country on a farm and I did not. He had plenty of practice and I did not.

Come to think of it, when I was growing up, it was my brothers' job to light the briquette heater, not the girls. There may be something of a gender division here. Culturally constructed of course.

The other day we were discussing the business of arson. I had noticed a female fire 'person' behind the wheel of a screaming fire truck and commented on this to my husband and one of my daughters.

They talked about how there has been an effort afoot of late to increase the number of females in the fire brigade.

When I suggested this this might reduce the number of arsonists - recognising that here in Australia at least, arsonists are often to be found among the ranks of firefighters, my daughter told me that few arsonists are actually caught.

Therefore there is not a good forensic profile of the type of person who likes to light fires available.

Our stereotype of the young frustrated man who volunteers for the Country Fire Authority might be exaggerated.

Recently the courts found a forty year old housewife from some place like Maffra guilty of arson.

Just goes to show.

And all this comes to me out of your struggles with Mr Stove.

HelenMHunt said...

I think it makes perfect sense that Stove has a personality and a will. Hope you manage to win eventually though.

Textile Art Showcase said...

I am with you on this one Weaver. We just spent a week away in the Lakes and had a stove on which to burn logs. We needed to get the stove going when we were there during the day as the heating didn't come on until the evening. The stove got going very nicely for my husband but was far less amenable when I was left in charge and he was out on a walk!!
I love your spring flower image at the top of your blog.

Heather said...

He looks so warm and benevolent too! You'd never think he was such a monster. I've known of dogs being one-man dogs but never a stove. Maybe you afforded him too much importance with that capital letter. Cut him down to size Pat and just call him stove! You have the perfect excuse of getting out of one set of chores. I don't have to light fires any more - we have no flues or chimneys in this house - but can remember the struggles I used to have and can't believe the saying 'there's no smoke without fire'. In my experience there can be a great deal of smoke without fire!

Karen said...

you know the old saying.. where there's smoke, there's fire!

Happy Spring, Happy Easter to you and yours -

Derrick said...

Oh come on, Weaver, that's about the best excuse I've heard for leaving the poor farmer to all the hard work! Since cave man days, fire has been a man's world!

Have a happy Easter Day.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Well - what a comfort you have all been - yes, it is official, stoves (note the small letter at the start!) are mans-business - I have told stove - and the farmer - and henceforth I shall not try to light or stoke. Maybe if I spend his off season giving him gentle dusts with the feather duster he will be more amenable towards me next winter. Thanks for the comments.

EB said...

Yes, I completely agree that such creatures have their favourites - usually a man, in the case of a fire, although when I was a child our stove had a great liking for my grandmother. The remind me of geese: 'nuff said!

Mistlethrush said...

Well, if someone else is happy to relieve a lady of a job, take the chance. It doesn't happen often - well not in our house....

Kayla coo said...

A cosy picture and I imagine you sitting by your warm stove, but not lighting it or clearing it out.
Lovely to see your spring flowers above heres hoping for warmer weather soon and then Stove can go back to sleep!

Totalfeckineejit said...

I have the perfect friend for Stove.
It's Computer.Or to give it it's proper full title 'That F****** Computer'
I'd love them to meet, I'd REALLY love them to meet, like head-on so that Computer ends up in Stoves firey belly and BURNS and TWISTS and SCREAMS and MELTS!!!!!

dinesh chandra said...

GOOD POST .

REGARDS

DINSH CHANDRA

Pondside said...

The Stove's Canadian cousin lives here at Pondside. He's quite cranky and much prefers The Great Dane's attention to mine.

Dave King said...

Welll... I had been going to say that Stove deserves his upper sae initial, being an obviously upper case himself, but equally obviously that was wrong. He's not only very ill mannered, but he can't see a good thing when it's right before him!

BT said...

Ha ha Weaver, that reminds me of Stanley, he was just like Stove - maybe they were related!! Billy Boiler is much more forgiving and lets me poke and prod and hoover him out with a little ~sigh~. I should make sure you keep that bucket full if I were you!!

ChrisJ said...

I enjoy your posts, but have fallen behind because my computer freezes up every now and then. Have to get my son on it this weekend. Love your descriptions of little lambs and your on-going battle with the stove!

jeannette said...

This is a beautiful stove, Weaver! But I know what you mean, I have a hubby like that - when he does it, it goes right! When I do it, all kind of other things happen - I should be used to it by now:):)