I’ve just been messing with our cooker in the kitchen. Well, I say messing, what I really meant is that I have been giving it what could be loosely termed as a service. We have one of the Stanley Super 90 cookers that are pretty standard in most homes that burn solid fuel and it turns out that I haven’t been using ours very efficiently for the last three years since we moved in to the house. For a start the grate at the bottom of the fire has had a rather large hole in it for two years and it got so big that a breeze block just about filled the gap so the coal didn’t drop straight through into the pan below. It doesn’t do much for the air flow to get the fire going. This I can happily say has been replaced. The bloke in the shop told me that these move backwards and forwards with the aid of a pokey stick thing, to shake the clinker out. Something else that I didn’t know was that the sides of the fire had on them something called summer plates, which apparently re-direct the heat into the kitchen and uses less coal in the fire than it would do in the winter.