The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
This post feels a bit dumb. We have a great refurbished wood stove in our house.
When we moved in there was a brick fireplace that wasn’t very pretty and no hearth so we decided to fit a fire as the chimney and fireplace were still in place.
The stove was very compact as our living space is small and we didn’t want to add a huge feature.
In the end we stood the stove on a metal constructed platform that the ole household genius made. This made it possible to fit the stove close to the wall, it protected our wooden floor and also means you can stand very close to the fire when it’s not in use.
Meanwhile, ten years later, I’ve never lit the fire. I know how to make a fire, of course, but someone else normally does it. The stove is narrow and confined and I wasn’t sure how to do it in the space.
So I decided to learn.
First I crumpled some pages from the old phone book, about ten sheets. I placed them at the back of the fire.
Then I built a ramp of twigs on top of the papers. These are raspberry twigs from the allotment. Autumn fruiting raspberries are cut right down to ground level every year. They make great fire starters.
We split some wood to make sticks and smaller kindling.
With the kindling wood on hand, I lit the paper and twigs. Then added the thin wood to create a base for the fire.
As the flames took hold of the small wood I could add two large pieces. The most important job is to monitor the fire. While it is establishing the stove has a vent. The vent is kept open so that the oxygen supply feeds the fire until the larger pieces of wood start to burn properly.
Every half an hour or so more wood can be added. the vent can be closed so the wood burns more slowly.
Once the fire is established we use this conductive fan to move heat around our space. It runs from the heat and is silent.
There’s a film of it working here.
Time to put the kettle on.
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...