Welcome everyone to this weeks post totally devoted to the beautiful Belle. I have wonderful interaction and a great many likes on my Instagram feed when Belle makes an appearance. So I’m hoping that you might like to read a little more about her recent adventure. To begin, we’ve had a few teething problems with the little stove which needed addressing and so for the past few weeks, it’s meant I’ve not spent nearly as much time at Belle’s as I would have liked. I’ve missed hanging out there with The Spotty One, writing my stories; it’s such a creative place to be. Now that the little stove is doing what was intended and providing a toasty place to write, I’m feeling rather like the cat that’s got the cream. So I thought today I’d show you our sweet little pot-bellied stove in action, if you have some time…
One quiet Saturday morning several weeks back, Mr M returned from a walk with the dog, huffing and puffing and dragging behind him a large tree. Infact it was an enormous amount of dead ivy which I was told would make perfect kindling for the little stove. Once fed and watered, he painstakingly broke the ivy into many small pieces and piled the kindling high in my ‘new’ basket. Then he turned his attention to our large logs. The opening for the logs in the new stove is minute meaning our already chopped logs were way too big. So out came the axe and a further day of chopping took place. Yes I know, Mr M is a keeper.
Later in the afternoon, Mr M spent some time seasoning the stove outside in the garden. The smokey aroma filled the cold air almost immediately and I simply could not wait for the stove to be installed.
However I had to learn to wait whilst all the necessary regulatory requirements were satisfied. I spent a while sourcing the fire-board in any other colour than black which proved unsuccessful given the position the stove occupies and the fact that the entire hut is made of wood. Personally cream or grey would have been my choice. Since black it had to be, we chose the same colour for the beautiful granite the stove sits on.
There are many safety measurements to satisfy and materials to include when fitting the stove so we’ve had an expert check all the work. Once we had the green light, we hoped all that was left to do was put the pot bellied stove in situ and connect. Yet as with many pieces of the puzzle in the building game, parts were too big, too small or just not quite right and this little Goldilocks became frustrated as time dragged on. Belle looked a tip for a while. She became a bit damp and a little sad and beautiful cushions and rugs were moved into the house to keep safe and clean.
And then slowly the many parts of the stove and its flue and chimney were moved to the Shepherds Hut and progress seemed in sight.
And although It seemed we would never finish, it felt very fitting that the little stove should be working shortly before Christmas; one year after Belle herself arrived. And here she is, my pretty little pot-bellied stove. What do you think?
The stove is such a welcome addition. Belle is not yet insulated (that will happen when the renovation of our home is underway) and it was cold, damp and draughty without one. And my goodness is it toasty now. This little gem chucks out some heat. I know you understand me well enough by now to know that I was giddy with excitement pre-installation. And just like a child with a new toy, post installation I want to be nowhere else except in my beautiful Shepherds Hut. Secretly Mr M is rather pleased I’m not inside a cold and badly insulated bungalow writing my stories. In these colder months that could have proved to be a rather costly exercise, considering for now our means of heating is via an expensive oil tank. No, there is quite simply no where else for me at the moment.
It’s true, absence makes the heart grow fonder and I have truly missed this happy place of mine. I’m often asked if I play music whilst I write. Not usually. I prefer to hear the birds sing or nowadays the fire crackle. And sometimes if I’m really lucky I hear nothing at all. For me it truly is an inspirational place and I am so grateful to have Belle. And staying with a moment of gratitude, I am very grateful for you wonderful readers who it seems also share my enjoyment of Belle. I’ll be posting more beautiful photos of her on Instagram in the coming weeks and there will be an opportunity for you to see and read Christmas Decorations in the Hut here on the blog very soon. For now though if you haven’t done already, you might want to sign up to receive posts directly to your mail box. I usually send out the weekly email at 10.30 on a Thursday, just in time for your coffee break I do believe. Have a wonderful week x