With more and more properties being connected to the power grid, and the availability of bottled gas, the wood-burning stove has become a threatened species.
However, it is still possible to buy, for at least several thousand dollars, a shiny new wood-burning stove, with claims that you can cook just about anything on it. (Did you know you can even buy a diesel-powered stove? Sounds like a bit of a worry, but I guess no more dangerous than a gas stove.)
But for me, it’s a delight to see an old wood stove that’s boiled ten thousand billies and cooked as many meals, and is often rather like its owner – a bit worn and weathered, but still beautiful.
A warm fuel stove will usually be the centre of the house in the winter, and the chair in the picture indicates that sitting near the stove with the firebox open waiting for the kettle to boil is a good place to be.
However in the summer – at least in the warmer parts of the country – the opposite is true, and working in a heated kitchen when the outside temperature is uncomfortable high is no fun. For that reason, it’s not unusual in old houses to see the kitchen physically separate from the rest of the house, sometimes connected by a breezeway.