Friday, 5 May 2017

Cold Kitchen







First day, last month of Spring: 
Even the rain seems pretty, falling to fresh leaves, caught on bright petals; a water veil draping us. Dog has been hose-piped and rain-rinsed and still a trace of spilt wine sits on her shoulders. She cares not. 

The house is cold, a little in mourning - our way of life having shifted lately, with the demise of the Rayburn. One morning at 3am the carbon monoxide alarm sent its shrill noise upstairs; at a more civilised hour the chimney man came, and it couldn’t be fixed.
I thought Rayburns lived forever.
Alas!

So now we wait for the landlord to do sums and calculate an acceptable replacement. Most likely a wood burner will arrive, fingers crossed it will have a back boiler and heat our water too.

Meanwhile we have pulled the pillow draught-catcher out of the front room flue, lit the tiny open grate each evening.
Meanwhile we are using an electric oven, which ought to seem more convenient - but the Rayburn was always lit, there was none of this waiting for warmth. 
Things ferment half paced in an unheated house.

Meanwhile, in the polytunnel, a jungle of sprouting shoots wriggle under the weighty scent of flowering lime, a fat frog patrols for slugs. Down in the garden, raised beds are fixed with new walls, onion leaves spike, wild strawberries climb everywhere.