There is no cheery kettle bubbling on the aga today. No clothes drying above.
Why? Well the Aga is off, no, dear friends it has not died. Had it died there would be much ripping of hair, stressful swearing and begging of Aga Man to come and help.
Instead the Aga has developed a nasty case of halitosis and there is a definate eau de gas about it. Not noticed by me first of course, I live with it so much I hardly notice a difference in smell. But Emma popped in yesterday and leapt back in horror screeching that I had a gas leak and was about to die. Okay so maybe she was just a little hasty on the instant demise front, but she instisted I should ring Aga Man right away.
'Switch it off right away' says the strong manly voice over the wires, 'I'll be with you first thing in the morning'. Good Lord, normally it takes a week to get this guy, this is important! Horrors, I then had last night sans heat in the kitchen, and had to delve into the deapths of the loft to find an electric kettle for my must have caffeine fix this morning.
Ah the Aga, let me count the ways I love you;
For drying clothes in winter (and all year round when I am too lazy to go outside to the garden)
For drying my herbs so easily and well.
For ironing T shirts and tops when I remember to pop them on the hot covers.
For making the bestest ever baked potatoes in the world.
For giving my daughter 'The best seat in the house' (on a pile of towels on the warmer plate) to watch TV first thing in the morning.
For keeping the cats happy.
For always having a bubbly kettle.
For never having to 'preheat the oven'.
For giving me such a great photo prop that I have shamelessly used in books, magazines and online.
For warming our pjs.
For making me a better and possibly more creative cook.
For saving sick lambs in the warming oven (this is the country, it just has to be done)
For heating my house.
For drying logs when the order I bought were all damp and useless.
For being the huge comforting, warming and living heart of the home.
Yes, dear reader, it is sad but true, this huge iron beastie found in so many country households is as much an object of love and devotion as it is a cooker.
So here I sit in my cold kitchen, no toast for Idgy this morning, and it's a travel kettle for the coffee. Aga Man due at 8.30.