Saturday, 15 May 2010

The saga of the aga

We have just had a ceremonial lighting of a gas ring on our newly installed cooker. It's very exciting!

Actually it's not an Aga - although it has been made by Rangemaster - part of the aga group, and aga did rhyme with saga, so forgive me.

We bought our cooker in 2007 - back when we were living in England, dreaming of our future here in France. It is only now - after much niggling by myself that Neil has finally agreed it should be installed (two years after the warranty ran out).

Arguements For

We haven't had a roast dinner for months
We haven't had cheese on toast for months
I am fed up cooking on a two ring camping gas stove
Wouldn't it be nice to have yorkshire puddings etc etc........
It has just been sat there, in the kitchen, wrapped in plastic looking at me.

Arguements Against

The house isn't finished therefore more dust to be made, and dust = damage.

I decided, after much collusion with my friend Judith that the time was right to unwrap said cooker whilst Neil was away in the UK. Most decisions of mine are made at this time, whilst he is unavailable and unable to talk me out of things. Judith being my mate is always on hand to agree with me and help talk him round when and if necessary.

We believed we had bought a dual fuel model - gas hob, electric oven and I asked the electrician to come over to install the big cable required to power our large ovens before Neil got home. I was at work when the electrian turned up, but when I got home he said "Roz, your electric oven.."
"Yes....." I replied.
"It's gas" said he.
Ahhh. That was not what we thought we had bought. Three years down the line and in the wrong country we are not in a great position to argue the toss on this one. So gas it is. This however should have alerted me that this was not going to go smoothly.

I decided to take the gas line off the cooker that we had been using and disliked - it being gas and capable of burning everything from the bottom within seconds.

Stupidly I hadn't thought to take a spanner ( I don't know how I thought it would be connected) so the next time I went back with a set of spanners. This time the largest spanner wasn't large enough so I then went back for a third time with an adjustable spanner and hurrah - the cable was mine. Unfortunately the cable and the cooker did not appear to be compatible.

That day Neil was due back and luckily was quite relaxed about the cooker being unwrapped. We then spent yesterday trying to source the piece we needed, and double checked with Rangemaster that we could use this set up. We were frowned on greatly for having exported the cooker (I have seen it here but for three times the price)but we were told that with the use of gas ptfe (tape that you wrap around threads)we should be able to make a safe secure connection.

Gas ptfe is just like water ptfe but thicker. We looked it up on ebay UK and could buy three packs for £1.50, but as obviously I was now on a roll and time was of the essence we decided to try to get some locally, and on the third attempt Neil found some in a local store, whilst I waited in the car outside with Tess.

I managed to lipread his words as he walked out of the shop - it went something like "greedy, robbing French ba******!!!!!". In France it is over nine euros for one roll. So that didn't get purchased.

We are going to order some gas ptfe from the UK and in the meantime Neil has made the connection with water ptfe and so far, (touch wood everywhere) it appears to be working.

The other day I had bought a pork joint to roast, but in exasperation Neil put it in the freezer last night. I must go and buy another one!


  1. Looking forward to lift off....no.not literally!

  2. I have to agree prices of that sort of thing here are quite ridiculous. We also bring over from the UK when we have to, but as you say it is frowned on. On the other hand who's pocket is being emptied quicker than necessary:-) Diane

  3. I hope not Helen, and Diane - I might even be able to try some of your recipes!!

  4. Oh good luck with your new range. Hubs is intent on getting us a wood burning one, which I know is going to give me more trouble than having gas. And you are right about gas burning things from the bottom up. Oh the days when I could turn my oven on to the exact temperature the recipe needed, but that oven was left in the UK. Now everything I cook is done my generalization of temperature. Ah well. Most things come out alright.
    By the way, in case you don't read your comments on my blog, here is some info which came from a friend of mine who lives in your general area: there is a reclamation yard in Confolon that is selling the same flooring as you purchased for 38 euro
    per meter, and as you are in the Haut Vienne it is not too far to travel for you - just a thought for future reference.

  5. We've just had moules cooked in our own cider - luckily it was yummy and thanks for the info re the slate Vera - I have been to Confolon, I LOVE reclamation centres!xx

  6. Ooh a proper cooker, lucky you! Ours is old, came with the house and runs on bottled gas - burns the bottom of things like crazy so I do a lot of things with water underneath. Re your comment, no plastic, just fleece over the seedlings... had an inspect today in galeforce winds and they look ok. Actually there are a few peppers which didn't fit under the covers, but I had planted them in a trough and even they are ok.

  7. We have a Godin stove that runs on wood (rather more efficiently than I thought it would - we got through only 14 of the 20 stere we bought) and does winter heating, hot water and cooking. I'm wondering how I got through 40 odd years without one.


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