Sunday, 19 December 2010

Making a cosy room for the Winter

Even though the outside temperatures are still good at the moment, our house is very cold.  If we hadn't had so much rain this week,  you would find me sitting outside to warm up.

We have an air-conditioning unit in our sitting room, which we can use on the warm air setting for winter, but I am reluctant to use it for two reasons.  I don't want to push up our electricity bill anymore than necessary, and I actually don't like aircons in winter or summer...they give me a it's hardly ever used.

We have one large electric fire, but again it uses too much electricity

Mr A was talking on the phone to his father a couple of days ago and Dad mentioned that there was a soba out in the old house. The soba is a wood and coal burning stove which is used extensively by Turks for heating their houses.  They come in all shapes and sizes, some even have ovens for cooking.

I had first-hand experience of using a soba when we lived in Cappadocia, where they are a necessity during the long winters when there is heavy snow and temperatures plummet to minus 20 degrees.  We had a fairly large one then and it was enough to heat the whole house as long as we kept all the doors open. They are a bit of a nuisance though.  It's a real chore having to go outside in extreme weather conditions to empty the ash from the internal bucket every morning and refill with wood, coal and kindling. And the pipes need cleaning every couple of weeks.  Oh what a pain that is!  Dismantling them and trying to get them outside without depositing black soot over the carpets and furniture.

However, we know it will inevitably get colder so Mr A set about searching for the soba which was well hidden in the old house, and which we  would never have discovered  if Dad hadn't told us it was there.  It needed a good clean up by Mr A and it was ready.  We can't afford to buy coal but we have a lot of wood to burn so this will be sufficient for our needs.

We don't have a chimney in our sitting room to take the pipes, because this room was formerly the terrace. But we have them in the kitchen and the two bedrooms. The kitchen chimney is being used for the cooker extractor fan, and I'm not happy about the soba being in our bedroom.  I like a cool room to sleep in, with the window long as I'm warm enough in bed with an electric blanket...or a hot water bottle when we have a power cut.

Mr A on the other hand likes to sleep in a hot room.  We need a compromise on this one.  So we have placed the soba in the spare bedroom (picture above).  This room is for the in-laws when they come to stay and for guests.  We have two sofa beds in there, and with the soba lit it will become a very cosy Winter sitting room, where Mr A can sleep if he wants to, and if I find it too hot I can retreat to our cool bedroom.

We haven't actually got round to lighting it yet, because Mr A has been out trying to sell the mesır macunu products for the last couple of days...and has been returning home late.  I have thought about lighting it today, but even though Mr A has been onto the roof to check that the chimney is clean, I'm a little reluctant because I had a bad experience in Cappadocia once, when having lit the soba, black smoke billowed out and the house was full of it.  He is doing a Sunday market today, and  will be home late afternoon, so I'll let him do the honours.

And I am sure Beki remembers us having a soba years ago, because yesterday I watched her as she went in to the room and spread out in front of it.  After 5 minutes or so, she got up, sniffed it, realised it wasn't hot and came out of the room in disgust.  Aren't dogs clever?  No doubt she will be looking forward to our cosy winter room as much as I am!


  1. It looks cosy u have made a great compromise with Mr A xx

  2. Bomb: It will be very cosy once it's lit...and all men have to compromise don't they? ;-)

  3. As long as you're REALLY sure that the fumes will go up the chimney and not into the bedroom then you are fine! Can you do a smoke test before you light it?
    Looks a cosy way to heat everything and once upon a time everyone heated their homes with open fires with back boilers.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  4. Maggie: Yes I remember the days of open fires and back boilers.
    Well Mr A lit the soba 5 hours ago and its smoke...but it's so hot that I had to withdraw to a cooler room an hour ago!


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