As you know I shall fairly shortly (all being well) be leaving the farm for the last time and moving into a bungalow. This will be a wrench as this is the longest I have ever lived anywhere (twenty four years), but it is inevitable and in any case this house is far too large for one person to live in.
One of the things I shall be sad to leave behind is my Aga cooker, which has served me well. We bought it new twenty four years ago. It has kept us well-fed, kept the kitchen and the fabric of the house warm and kept the water very hot. Now I shall be leaving all that behind.
There is one difficulty with Agas - it is almost impossible to clean them when they are 'on' (which is all the time). The surface of the cooker is so hot that anything you try to clean it with dries before it has any impact. So it is best to give the whole cooker a good going over when you switch it off for its six monthly service.
But one thing remains which has been troubling me. There is a solid shelf, sometimes called the 'cold plain shelf' or the 'cooling shelf'. I have used it constantly throughout the life of the Aga. It started out 'silver' but is now black and no amount of elbow grease will get it back to its original newness.
I have written to Aga and to various suppliers and been totally unable to get a replacement. I am useless at such things. My daughter in law heard of my plight and in about half an hour had located one only ten miles away at an Aga supplier. Brand new, it cost only fifteen pounds and this afternoon we drove over and bought it. Job done.
As a thank you, on the way back, we called in a lovely new cafe which has opened and I treated us to tea for me, coffee for her and two delicious cakes (Danish with raspberry jam for me and lemon merigue pie with ice cream for her). So, a successful afternoon all round wouldn't you agree?