Thursday, 17 December 2015
Christmas with a Rayburn
This is one of the ways in which we prepare for Christmas...it 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.