Friday, November 24, 2017

These are tough days, but at least we’re within a month of the solstice.

I paused a little while ago, and spread my knitting on my knee, and discovered that I had knit the last three scallops from the wrong direction, so that they were on the wrong side of the edging. That’s what we call a Fatal Error. I have ripped them out, and have successfully retrieved the stitches. If I knit on this evening, it will be to attempt Part 2 of Howard’s End on television, and to knit the Soutache.

I have a sort of feeling that this is not the first time in my life that this has happened.

Helen and I went up to John Lewis this morning, to see what sort of kitchen they had planned for me, and it looked rather wonderful although also rather expensive.

As for the Aga: I had thought of your very comparison, Shandy, after I visited the showroom yesterday. The car I drive is 15 years old. If my health holds, it will have to be replaced one day.

I don’t entirely understand about Raeburn. The name was there on the wall of the Aga showroom – it all seems to be the same company. But it wasn’t mentioned as an option while I was there.

One of you, via Helen, has given me the web address of a promising-sounding company which sells reconditioned Agas, and which also (inevitably) reconditions them. I think my dear old friend may be dangerous, as your Raeburn became, Isabella, and perhaps for a similar reason. But perhaps it could be eviscerated and restored for a good deal less than the cost of a replacement.

A new one would be considerably cheaper to run, but it would take a long time for the savings to justify the capital cost.

Despite all this, I thoroughly applaud the decision of your relative, Shandy – a farmhouse kitchen needs an Aga.

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving, if celebrating. Here, yesterday, were my sister and her husband Roger, their son Theo, and Theo’s sons Ted and Emmett. Emmett can WALK. Theo’s wife Jenni was the photographer.


  1. We had 9 plus a baby yesterday, and had a lovely day. My grandson took several steps yesterday as well. It is not his preferred method of moving around yet, but soon...

  2. Emmett looks not entirely pleased with the proceedings — perhaps he would rather have been walking — but thank you for sharing the photo. I look forward to further developments in the Kitchen Intrigue.

  3. I'd love an AGA or Rayburn or Hunter. But even if we could afford one, we have a suspended wood floor over a six foot drop into a strange unusable space under the floor; it would be so annoying to have AGA and cakes suddenly descend into the dark...

  4. I remember one of my friends from Belfast saying that because Agas are expensive to operate (fuel) there are people who wish to sell them. I hope you get yours sorted. We had lots of fun on Thanksgiving Day. Our whole family was together.

  5. Patience3:50 AM

    Re: Vintage Shetland Project -- Susan Crawford posted progress on Instagram earlier today.

  6. Aga and Rayburn are the same firm now but they still make the two brands of stove with their significant little differences. I can't really advise, knowing only what I have lived with - Mum's Esse - coal fired but the fire was hopper fed so needed little attention. When parts became unobtainable, it was replaced with an oil fired Aga. In one of our tied houses was a Rayburn - old and not connected to the water system. It was not a lot of use, and the fire needed a lot of attention. I believe the newer ones are a great deal more useful. My own opinion is that the most important thing is that you have a good hot water supply whatever the means of getting it are.
    How is the house heated? That enormous lump of hot metal in the kitchen makes a tremendous difference to the comfort of the whole place.

  7. Anonymous1:10 PM

    Lovely picture of your sister & family - can't believe Ted is so big! Didn't he receive the Rams & Yowes blanket?

    Also, they have excellent taste in dining room wall color. I think mine is the exact same shade.

    Beverly in NJ

  8. Anonymous1:12 PM

    PS. Roger looks well-recovered from his stroke - happy to see that.

    B in NJ

  9. Anonymous1:55 PM

    What a marvelous picture of your sister and her family. I almost missed the baby but found him after readjusting my glasses:)
    Thank you for the Aga adventure. You know, the hot water issue would be decisive for me, and therefore my vote, if I had one, would go to a refurbished Aga that provides endless hot water. Why pay MORE for Less functionality!? What color are you dreaming of? You will have to pict it to us if you splurge on it...pgnitter