Well, that’s that then. The Rayburn has been slowly declining for a couple of weeks now – and with the miraculous weather we’ve been having (it was actually Too Hot this afternoon out in the garden, and I even had to refill a couple of passing touring cyclists’ water bottles after they had underestimated how much they would need in the baking subtropical climate of South West Scotland, an easy mistake to make seeing as normally you can rehydrate just by opening your mouth and looking up) there was never going to be a better opportunity to take the plunge and turn it off for the summer.
And yet, I’ve hesitated. Come September, when we would normally be phoning Rayburn Man to come and degunk its innards and relight it, we will no longer have a Rayburn and he will have to drink coffee and share woodburning stove lighting tips with someone else. So these days have been the last opportunity to enjoy its constant presence: the stack of warmed clothes ready to put on after a shower, the whistle of the kettle as it (finally) boils, instant heat at the lift of the hotplate cover, the handiness of a warming oven, even if we never actually remember to warm our plates before we eat.
We won’t miss the oil bills (although with electric heating in the new house we may be in for a shock; hopefully not literally) and we really really can’t justify getting a Rayburn in the new house, even a solid fuel one, on environmental, economic or even geometrical grounds as the kitchen isn’t big enough to fit one in and it would look a bit strange in our bedroom. So, having just bit the bullet and switched it off, that’s it.
Time to move on …