We have an open fire in our living room.
Which looks lovely.
But is actually a pain in the bum.
I say this like I’m the one who lays and lights the fires, and cleans it all out afterwards, but obviously I’m not. In our very traditional gender stereo-typing household, that is most definitely a boy job.
So it is the lovely hubby who has mastered this ‘dark-art’, after much trial and tribulation.
BUT it is a bit rubbish. It looks very pretty, and the thought of snuggling up next to a roaring fire is nice, but the reality is: not much warmth; a very jittery hubby who keeps leaping up every 5 minutes to waft it or whatever it is that is needed; a lot of crap and ash left at the end; using lots of very expensive logs.
We are researching the possibility of replacing it with a log burner. But it needs to be a very specific type to fit in the hearth. Obviously. Isn’t that always the way? I am not holding out much hope of finding one secondhand. Our best bet will be finding an ex-display model, but research is ongoing.
So in the meantime, we will never learn. Every weekend we say to each other “oooh, fancy a fire tonight?” (That could be mis-interpreted as some kind of code for hanky panky. It’s not.) And hubby dutifully lays and lights the fire. And we dutifully exclaim how un-warm it is, and how a log burner would be much better. And all the time, in not very Make Do and Mend manner, we are getting through logs like nobody’s business.
A couple of Christmasses ago, my parents gave us a very clever contraption for making bricks out of newspapers.
We ooohed and ahhhed, and promptly put it in the garage with the large bag of newspapers they had very thoughtfully also provided. When we remembered it, we went and had a look and quite sensibly decided that brick making might be a summer job, so that they would dry well, and we would have a nice supply ready for the next Winter.
So this Summer….We forgot. Of course we forgot.
But then I remembered again!
So, this weekend, just as the weather turned colder, and the wind really started to bite, poor old hubby was dispatched to the garage with a bucket of water, some old newspapers (kindly donated by my parents again, after we recycled the last lot when they started to annoy us as they were getting in the way…) and the brick maker thingy. He was gleefully accompanied by BigSmall for about 5 minutes, until he computed quite how cold it was and came back inside in the warm (clever boy).
About half an hour, and several broadsheets later, hubby triumphantly emerged with these….
They are now in the airing cupboard, and have been for about 3 days, but are not looking any drier…
They might just be ready for next year…