Thursday, 17 December 2015

Christmas with a Rayburn

This is one of the ways in which we prepare for involves a lot of hard work and many dustsheets.    Oh joy!

This is the reality of living with a solid fuel Rayburn - the flue and inner workings of the beast must be cleaned out every so often.   Not many people tell you about that.   It is a hidden horror.

I adore my Rayburn, there is nothing so comforting on a cold wintery day, just ask the cats and Dobson, they fight for the prime position near the Rayburn and ignore the log burner.   We get the whole house heated, unlimited hot hot water, and it also a cooker.

This ritual of cleaning is the downside.    The pluses far outweigh the minuses but only once the job has been done and order restored.

Once the dustsheets have gone and the surfaces have all been cleaned down, etc. it is time to play around with the Christmas decorations.

Most of them are pretty ancient and are showing their age - like my beautiful kitchen angel/cherub.   The wing has crumpled a little over the years, but I am very fond of it.   The pointsettias, greenery  and pine cones are ancient, definitely past their use by date, but they remind me of Christmases past for they used to adorn the all staircases in a previous home, when my parents lived with us.  Treasured memories.

This wooden platter is filled with very old pomanders, they are at least 15 years old, shrunken and losing a few cloves, but they still scent the air.   I must make some new ones to add to the stash.

Gradually, the room begins to look festive.   I could throw all the old stuff out - but new and fancy things wouldn't make my heart sing.

So, this is how the kitchen at Parsonage Cottage gets trimmed for Christmas.  Everything is up high, out of the way of mischievous cats, although new girl Miss Pinkerton will probably jump up at some point.    Photographs can be so useful, I can see a painting which needs to be straightened, flypapers (countryside essential) which need to be taken down,  and I spy a dog who has sneaked up onto the sofa, taking advantage of my distraction.

The tree goes down the hallway to the main bedroom.   No animals are allowed into that wing of the house - doesn't stop them trying though, especially Miss Pinkerton!   Our grandchildren are enchanted with it and race down there to check out the tree although I think their main aim is to check for presents underneath the tree.

So, a tale of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmases yet to come, as I hope the grandchildren will remember the fun they have at Parsonage Cottage, but more of that another time.


  1. your kitchen is lovely and such a good use of space. Lol have to love the dog. I bet he looks at you as if to say "I am keeping it warm and if I give you sad eyes you will let me stay? Yes???"

    1. Hello Sol - and thank you, that room really is the heart of our home. Sad brown eyes do it for me, and he knows it. He stayed put until it was time to feed the hens.

  2. Your room looks beautiful, warm and inviting. We have a solid fuel Rayburn, as well. I wouldn't be without it even if I do have to (well don't have to, but I do) clean the chimney pipe once a week with flue brush and vaccy. It's a bit of a full time job in the winter, but the plusses far out weigh the minuses and the oven is brilliant for cooking meat.

    1. Hello Molly, They really are proper workhorses, aren't they? Just like you, I love cooking with it. During the summer it is only lit in the evenings, to provide hot water for the next day, so I have to use the gas hob and the electric oven in the Boot Room, convenient but 'Noisy'. I find Rayburn cooking very peaceful and I'm sure this enjoyment comes out in the cooking!


Lovely to hear from you!