For those of you awaiting with bated breath the outcome of the saga of our stove – and who are not hanging on my every tweet (and if not, why not?) – I bring you news. Previously on Town Mouse, we were waiting for our stove to arrive as promised definitely definitely on Monday and at 4pm it duly did and was unwrapped with a tinkle of glass and the sound of a builder saying ‘that doesn’t sound good.’ It turns out wrapping a pane of glass in a sheet of brown paper and putting it with some heavy metal things in a box that was definitely not marked ‘fragile’ isn’t that great an idea. But hey, the stove was fitted, the flue lined, the sitting room repainted and the stove worked fine as an open fireplace anyway so we went ahead with its official launch, Bigtown Council style, ignoring the fact that it wasn’t actually properly ready. And yesterday, the other half finally managed to pick up the glass and fit it and we had our stove.

After all that build up, the mere fact that it wasn’t all that cold yesterday wasn’t going to stop us from lighting the damn thing, so light it we did. Or rather I let the other half light it and get to grip with the annoyingly vague instructions while I made contradictory suggestions based on blind prejudice and ignorance. We then spent the rest of the evening adjusting the vents to find the perfect combination of flames and warm glow. So far the signs are that the woodburner fans are right and it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I can’t tell yet whether it’s truly going to keep the room warm, although you can certainly feel the heat coming off it from the sofa, which is more than you could ever say with the open fire. It’s economical with wood, getting through less than half what we’d normally burn in an evening. But mainly it’s just that it’s completely hypnotic to watch. I went to check something on it for a moment and found myself ten minutes later still staring at the dancing flames, unable quite to tear myself away.

Or at least, I hope it’s hypnotic. It may be time to get a carbon-monoxide monitor just to be sure we are feeling the effects of enchantment and not just the fumes.


11 Responses to Stoked

  1. Amaranthine says:

    It looks lovely. We haven’t stoked ours up yet (we are in the South) but the flue has to be redone before we can and I’m beginning to get anxious!

  2. Dom says:

    I can spend hours just watching ours. Better than the telly in a lot of cases 🙂

    If I may spare you some experimentation when lighting damp wood: half a bottle of nail polish remover is a phenominally stupid (albeit effective) way of lighting wet, or otherwise stubborn wood. Turns out the ‘extremely’ infront of the ‘flamable’ on the bottle is there for a reason 🙂

    • The Paper Boy says:


      You owe me a new keyboard.


      A blowtorch is surprisingly effective at getting stubborn items “going” (which then dry the damp ones out and get them going in turn)

  3. disgruntled says:

    Amaranthine – I think it’s forecast to be fairly mild for a while yet
    Dom – that may say more about the telly than the stove…
    Paperboy – so far we’ve not had any problem lighting stuff although we do have some quite dodgy wood.

  4. 19 years worth of log burner worship and we’ve never needed anything more than 1 fire lighter (the 1 is important, Mr Uhdd would probably use ‘she used 2 fire lighters’ as grounds for divorce)
    What we love is the speed and efficiency of log-burners… just don’t leave the bloody doors open.

  5. WOL says:

    I think all houses should have a carbon dioxide/carbon monoxide monitor, especially when they are very tightly insulated and “energy efficient.” It’s a silent killer, and you can’t be too careful. . .

    Now I’ll get off my soap box and say what a cheerful blaze you have going. Looking into the flames can be very meditative. Darn it, now I’m hungry for some hot spiced wine. . .

  6. Is it just to heat one room or does it have a central heating boiler function too? We looked into that and found that the burner would have to be so big it would take over the whole sitting room. So have reluctantly stuck with open fire for the moment…On another matter (or post) your knitting socks inspired me and now I’m knitting a dog blanket (somewhat easier since I’ve knitted nothing in years… beginning to wonder if I will remember how to cast off though!)

  7. disgruntled says:

    WOL – I know although at the moment we’ve got enough draughts to keep us safe, if not warm…
    Cally it’s just to heat the sitting room and the adjoining bedroom – the rayburn and the central heating does the rest. We could have got one that would do the hot water as well but then it becomes a bit of a production to keep them going

  8. emma c says:

    I can confirm it is hypnotic in our house. Better than telly the other half says. We must feed our fire from the hallway, so we have a dedicated fire-watching stool to get your nose right up to the glass in comfort 🙂

  9. […] number* of you have enquired about how we’re getting on with our wood burning stove since it was finally installed in September. Well, what can I say? At the risk of sounding like […]

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