New friends of ours had a different cooker, a Stanley, that ran on timber.Our AGA could be converted, they said. The idea intrigued Mac as we had a lot of wood on the farm and more so in the future when the 1000 trees we had planted would mature. I had my reservations, however,since I had seen our friends stuff the oven several times a day with timber. Twice a day like with our anthracite seemed work enough. It wouldn't solve the problem of soot, dust and asthma either.Then Mac learned that antique AGAs were quite valuable and decided to sell it. He advertised and one night an elderly couple came to view it. I had gone upstairs to put the children to bed. Feeling tired myself, I lay down. Our bedroom was right above the kitchen. I heard voices below and laughter, but couldn't make out what was said. I wondered what was going on.
Two hours later Mac came upstairs and reported. Over several whiskeys and jovial banter, the prospective buyers had finally convinced Mac to hold on to this beauty of an AGA. That the new ones were nothing like them, that it was a real gem. Mac was in a good mood. He had made friends and gotten sound advice: The AGA could also be converted to kerosene reducing the soot emissions.
"That can only happen in Ireland", he said." These guys could have easily taken advantage of me and made a cheap bargain. But they gave advice and left as friends. Only in Ireland...." Shortly afterwards we had the AGA converted.It worked like a dream. No more early morning coal carrying. We could even stay away for a night if needs be, and I had less cleaning to do.