Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Some days you just want someone to open the pickle jar.

Try as I might to ignore it, Christmas is fast approaching.
For the time being at least, it is easiest for my family to come to me. I have plenty of space, the all-important turkey is here and it means I don't have to arrange for someone to feed the animals while I am away (which is both difficult and expensive during the festive season). But it does mean that I need to warm up the back part of the house that isn't currently in use.

Sadly there is no chimney out there, so it isn't feasible to fit a woodburner. I have been looking at electric versions of my cast iron stove for some time now, but most have been too noisy, too tinny or just too not quite right. Then I discovered Broseley stoves which pushed all the right buttons for me - locally-made, proper cast iron stoves, rather than flimsy sheet metal and even the pretend coals aren't too tacky. Altogether really rather nice.
Unfortunately they were also rather outside my budget!

But last week I spotted one on EBay, advertised for pick-up only less than 15 miles from home. Well, it was just meant to be, and I won it for about a third of the normal cost.

I went to collect it yesterday and am absolutely delighted with my bargain. What I didn't take into account, however, was the fact that it weighs almost exactly the same as me. It went into the Land Rover fine with two of us to lift it.
Now I can't get it out!
All will be well once it is on the ground as it will go on the sack truck, but I'm afraid that it will land too heavily and break one of the cast iron legs if I try to get it out by myself. So it is stuck in the back of the Landy until I can enlist the assistance of some kind passing gentleman.

One will doubtless be along sooner or later, but it is infuriating having to wait. Had R been here it would be in the house, fitted and warming up the back room now as I type. It frustrates me so much being reliant on other people for stupid little things like this.

And no, I haven't got the pickle jar open yet either. Not even with the aid of my trusty Baby Boa. Grrr.


  1. i know what you mean. a little frog got into my apartment and well, i can do spiders, snakes, mice, but frogs scare me. i trapped him between the sliders and used masking tape to seal him up until my daughter could come get him. it is infuriating to me that i cannot do it all. and it is embarrassing that i can't find the will to try sometimes.

    i hope someone comes by soon to help you get the stove out and fitted in. and as for the pickle jar, i sometimes use the handle of a knife to tap the lid, to help it get started. i love your photos of the snow from your earlier post. maybe one day i will be able to travel and visit your beautiful part of the world. i wish you peace and light. and warmth. and pickles.

  2. it almost feels like you're being taunted about the fact that you've lost your love. I know in reality we are not being taunted, but it does feel like it on some days. I hope you get the stove off the land rover soon and get it installed. It looks like Canada where I live today so I'd imagine it looks like Alaska where you are!!! Stay warm and safe xxxx

  3. @WnS: I will gladly remove your frogs if you will capture my spiders!
    (Will also try your tapping the lid trick on the pickle jar).

    @Boo: It is very pretty indeed today. Fortunately I don't have to go anywhere so I can simply enjoy the view. Keep wrapped up warm yourself.

  4. I find myself growling at the general direction of the sky - "a little help, please? Would it be too much to just make something as simple as a jar a little bit easier to operate? Do you think?" Then I try to channel my annoyance into super-human jar-opening strength.

    Hope help arrives, beautifully and quickly.

  5. J, Bill Cosby taught me how to open a jar years ago. Bang the base of the jar on the benchtop -- it disperses the air pressure, then open.

  6. Your pickle jar dilemma brought a smile and tear to my eye at the same time!

  7. With most jars, I find that sliding the tip of a spoon under the edge of the lid and then prying ever so slightly will break the seal and then I can just turn the lid off. If you pick the right kind of spoon, it usually won't disfigure the lid at all so that it continues to fit well.
    I too don't like waiting for help to load or unload things. For a few years, I was a shipper/receiver in a truck parts warehouse and used to unload and move around a lot of really heavy stuff - usually alone. I have grown to be thankful for that experience as it taught me so much about working with heavy stuff. Not sure I could get a heavy cast iron stove out of the back of a car alone though! (-: