I was shocked too, but the more he talked the more I was persuaded. Actually seems like quite a good idea, with a lot of benefits. Great for keeping extra warm in the winter. So I thought about it and decided that if I got one, I'd prefer a black one, just for variety. He 'd had one for years when he was a lot younger, but got fed up with her and dumped her. He could remember helping his dad throw her out the door into the yard… but there was a hint of regret in his voice, she had left him many fond memories. So I looked in the paper and found one in Killyleagh but sadly by the time I phoned she was already taken. So if you know anyone that's getting rid of theirs, let me know. Ideally I'd like one that's about 100 years old but in perfect working order.

Here's a photo of the type I'd like – the Modern Mistress solid fuel stove, made by Smith and Wellstood in Bonnybridge, Scotland. Here's another beautiful photo. My granny had one of these when I was wee, as did my parents in the “oul hoose” – I remember sticking my finger in the bright orangey bit when I was about 3. I only did that once.

I really am looking for one, so let me know!


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