The NeverEnding Stufa Story

As a child of the 80’s in America, The NeverEnding Story was a constant presence in the world of pop culture references. Even those of us who were never really into fantasy or sci-fi were familiar with the movie’s lovable flying dog-like creature, Falkor the “luckdragon”.

Bastion atop Falkor - NeverEnding Story

Bastion atop Falkor –

It was this photo, in fact, that spurred me into drawing a somewhat stretched, but ultimately fun, analogy between The NeverEnding Story and the saga that is the installation of our new stufa. (A stufa, by the way, is a stove – usually wood burning or pellet here in Italy.)

If you don’t know the plot of The NeverEnding Story, shame on you. Read this. Basically, there’s this beautiful fantasy land called Fantasia that is being threatened by a dark void called The Nothingness

Much like here, there is a beautiful land called Casa Nostra (our apartment) that is being threatened by the dark void of Inverno (winter). 

The ruler of Fantasia is The Childlike Empress, and she has fallen ill due The Nothingness. The ruler of Casa Nostra is M (me), and I have fallen ill repeatedly due to the Inverno every year for 5 years. (I blame my wussy Texan winter upbringing.)

winter 2012/13 - M, cold as a mug and not amused

winter 2012/13 – M, cold as a mug and not amused

The only thing that can save The Childlike Empress and Fantasia from The Nothingness is belief and imagination, in the form of wishing for the restoration of the land. Much like the only thing that can save M and Casa Nostra from Inverno is belief and imagination, in the form of wishing for a stufa.

The Childlike Empress then employs a young warrior from the Plains People (seriously), named Atreyu, to find out how to battle The Nothingness.

Here’s where the analogy falters a bit. In our version, M employs an old worker from the Po Pianura (we’ll call him Gianni), to find out how to install a stufa to battle the Inverno

Now, in stark contrast to Atreyu, who treks through the Swamps of Sadness and the Sea of Possibilities for his master, The Childlike Empress…

When Gianni comes to install the canna fummaria (chimney flue) and deliver the stufa, he forgets the piece of pipe that attaches the two together. Like you do. M reminds Gianni, “You know it doesn’t work without that part?”. Gianni snorts, shrugs, and says, ” I don’t know anything about that”. He then proceeds to completely botch the chimney flue installation, resulting in fallen chunks of wall and slab, a tilted flue, and a very upset neighbor. Now M and the people of Casa Nostra can’t connect the stufa to the tilted flue because they are amid negotiations with the people of the Po Pianura for fixing the botched job of their defected warrior… I mean worker.

*Spoiler alert – If you need to pause to go watch The NeverEnding Story, I understand. This is a gripping plot, I know.

In the end we discover that the only way the warrior, Atreyu, can battle The Nothingness is by taking along with him on his adventures the human child, Bastion. Bastion’s wishful imagination is the only hope for restoring Fantasia from the one grain of sand that has been spared by The Nothingness.

I have informed my bel marito that he must play the role of this human. I am too weak, and I have many other responsibilities as ruler of Casa Nostra. I must prepare my kingdom for the coming Inverno. 

He didn’t seem very excited about that prospect until I suggested that he may get to go forth in his quest with the aid of our very own luckdragon…

Saba at Pratizzano copy

Saba, the luckdragon

Meanwhile, somewhat similar to how The Childlike Empress had to sit in her Ivory Tower awaiting the return of her warrior and the human who believed in the future of a restored Fantasia… 

M sits in her Soggiorno Freddo awaiting the return of the substitute warrior from the Po Pianura, and the human who is foolishly deluded into believing that the stufa will be attached before the Inverno consumes Casa Nostra.

stufa, check. chimney, check. pipe to connect the two? of course not.

And a constant reminder of the encroaching Inverno that threatens to destroy Casa Nostra.

I’m not sure we’re going to get a Hollywood ending here, folks.

12 thoughts on “The NeverEnding Stufa Story

  1. Hello I read your blog and I found it’s great, thanks.
    I live in Sardinia so we don’t get a very cold winter, still we needed one, (hold house) so I helped my father to mount one. =) I understand your troubles….. I can only suggest to think at the sun during winter 😛

    • Thanks, Seba! Yeah… thinking of sun is easier said than done. The winter her REALLY affects me, it’s crazy!

      If you helped your father mount one, you wanna come help us out? 🙂
      Our worker didn’t show AGAIN this morning. Ridiculous.

  2. Aaagh, all so familiar. When we had our stufe fitted, not only did our sitting room need redecorating afterwards but when they drilled through our wall they dropped a rock through our ancient terracotta floor, into the cellar below.
    They then attempted to charge us extra because of the extra work they’d had to do to mend the damage.

    • Amazing.
      My hubby is on a rampage now. He’s playing the human roll, but fortunately he’s picked up some warrior as well. 🙂

  3. Caspita! This is quite a saga! And how frustrating, too! I hope you get some “calore” before “l’inverno” sets in! Otherwise you’ll have to fly away on your dragon-dog friend to a nice balmy beach somewhere! Good luck!

  4. There’s something about the dampness of Inverno italiano that makes even the tiniest blast of cold almost unbearable. Is it the stone construction? Using the central heating is out of the question though because it’s so expensive and then, worse, you have to deal with the GAS UTILITY ogres, especially when you get your congualio (adjustment) for the gas consumed and you pay for the all of the Inverno’s heat at once. Porca Troia!

    • Yes, I know! The humidity seeps into your bones and freezes you from the inside out. Arrrgh! The stone construction doesn’t necessarily help with humidity (in older buildings), but it’s the most practical construction method for quality versus value. Yeah, central heating – no way. We design high-efficient, super-insulated houses instead to maintain as much heat inside as possible. (Shameless plug: check out our business site if you want to learn more!

  5. Oh I feel for you, I hope you have it sorted by now……but I think I know the answer 😦
    I’ve just made some potato and leek soup…I think I need to send you some!

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