The man from Scan and his side-kick Craig-our-fitter stand in front of our new and recalcitrant woodburner. It's not an unattractive thing, in a designery sort of way, and suits the room well. It's just that one or two minor glitches need sorting out - the thing wobbles for heaven's sake, the smoke stack is slightly out of true and I can't stop the glass from smoking up. (This last finds me on my knees like a true skivvy scrubbing at the soot with a damp cloth dipped in wood ash. How Victorian is that? You will be pleased to know I draw the line at black-leading - the Zeebo will remain in the cupboard. My hands are filthy enough as it is.) Oh, and finally, the door handle has found against returning to its neat closed position. This is a top of the range stove from a reputable manufacturer, for which we have dug deep in our pockets. I put on my best 'get it sorted or else' face .... and go to make a brew for the workers.
The wobble is resolved by a bit of lateral thinking; the adustable feet now hidden beneath the stove are adjusted by sliding a saw blade underneath the plinth, connecting it with the feet and, using the gentlest of sawing motions, turning them up or down until stability is achieved. A twiddle with an allen key sorts out the door - but I am left with the distinct impression this is something I should have done for myself. Sorry, Mr Scan at the price we paid for this critter we almost expect it to light itself. (I do though make a mental note to put tools within easy reach.)
Craig is let off straightening the smoke stack today - the weather is foul and the roof slippy - I'm not that hard a task master.We address the problem of the smoky glass - it's all to do with putting more wood on when the fire is at the right temperature, wood that is dry, wood of the right size. Little and often. I'm beginning to see that this woodburner - unlike the dragon we have in the sitting room- needs coaxing and pampering. It is obviously a prima donna amongst stoves, needing to be cajoled and fed only the finest seasoned dry oak or ash (of which we are lucky to have plenty) and supplied with copious gulps of oxygen. Don't forget to empty the ash pan either...The man from Scan assures me that all this should do the trick - assures me too that 'it's just a matter of getting used to it'. Sounds like an inordinate amount of bother too.
They gather up their tools and leave. Stove and I look at each other. 'OK Stove' I say, 'Just burn hot and clean with typical Nordic efficiency....'
I swear it said 'Ja.... måske.'* But that might just have been the sound of the door swinging shut.
* I hope it means 'Yes...perhaps.' Perhaps some passing Dane can confirm that.