I love Septembers in Scotland. You can sit and look out of your window for an entire day and see things shifting and changing before your eyes. One minute it’s blowing a gale, the next it’s pouring with rain. A few minutes after that it’s doing both. Then the sun comes out and the hikers on the trail across the road are all stripping off their layers.
During early autumn, however, the sun poses a slight problem for me here in my home office (I say office … it used to be a small kitchen, these days it’s more of a corridor). The office is where my wood pellet stove lives. It sits right behind my desk on a large stone hearth once occupied by a Rayburn solid fuel range. Our stove is rated at 22 kilowatts (that’s about 75,000 BTU in old money). It distributes 17KW to our radiators and dumps the other five right behind me. It’s very snug in the winter (we call this room ‘the snug’ rather than ‘the office’, for that reason) but on a cold yet sunny autumn or spring day it can be like sitting in an oven.
Thankfully today was more sunny than rainy so the house, a former forestry worker’s cottage with thermally hopeless wooden walls, has stayed reasonably warm. The stove is sitting behind me, brooding with the word OFF in harsh, red letters on its LED screen. Tomorrow, however, could be a different matter.