Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Keeping the home fires burning........

Keeping the homes fires burning and the house nice and cosy is a priority at this time of year.  Although this year with this unseasonally warm weather we are only have 3 or 4 fires a week at the moment.

We have central heating but we keep the thermostat down at around 15-16 degrees, if it gets cold in the house it will fire up and bring the house back to this temperature, but it is so much cheaper to chop all the free wood we have all around the farm and use that to warm the house in the colder evenings than to turn the thermostat up and have the radiators glowing hot.  Even the radiators have their own thermostats so we have them set to have more heat in our bedroom and the living room, all the other rooms have them set low just to take the chill off the air and keep the room at a neutral temperature. 

Lovely Hubby went out with his chainsaw last week, and with our landlords permission, cut up some trees that had been felled earlier this year (they were diseased we found out, at first I was horrified to see the tree massacre going on).

We now have stacks and stacks of wood in the barn, drying nicely.

Some already chopped smaller to dry out quickly ....

.... and some still in big chunky logs that we thought might be easier to move with if we can find somewhere to rent soon.

We have a big builders bag full of ready cut kindling, that kept LH busy for hours chopping patiently away at pallet wood.  The bag at the back is full of logs from last year which have dried out wonderfully, I get a few out each day and have finally mastered the art of splitting them.  It's good exercise as I have to retrieve lots of logs that shoot off in all directions.  The old saying is definitely true that wood warms you three times, the gathering, the chopping and the burning.  Although the dogs think it's very unfair that Mum comes back from doggy walks with lots of sticks that she just won't throw!!

We have been very lucky recently, all through last year when we had pig feed deliveries we were usually the last farm on the drop off list as we live in the middle of nowhere, so by the time the drivers got to us they usually had our ton of feed on a pallet plus a few extra pallets that the previous customers didn't want.  Of course I always made them a lovely cup of tea and then asked very politely if I could help lighten their homeward load by having the pallets.....I was never refused.   So we have quite a stack of good pallets drying out ready to chop up for firewood or be put to lots of other money saving uses.

Although it makes the living room look slightly cluttered with our baskets of wood and piles of newspaper (also free - courtesy of Mum and Dad) I can turn a blind eye, knowing that come evening with the sidelights on and a roaring fire the room will just look cosy.

A good excuse to keep the home fires burning.

Sue xx


  1. Can't beat an open fire! Lovely, My husband's parents have an open fire, we love going there in winter because we get to build the fire and then light it.....simple pleasures!


  2. We have the clutter of the woodbaskets and newspapers too but the fire and the cosiness of it all are just worth it, so we put up with it! We have a woodburner and love it.

  3. I agree about the clutter aspect - it takes a bit of organising - but you can't beat a wood fire.

    And the lovely smell of woodsmoke as well - our "new" sitting room ( still can't quite get over the fact it is finished and we are back in there!) always smells faintly of woodsmoke, homemade lavender/beeswax polish and candles and a very faint scent of leather from the sofas...

    The smell of "home" to me...

  4. We don't have an open fire in this house but did in the last & miss it. What great use for the old pallets !

  5. What a lovely lot of wood you have Sue!

    Fires are so cosy aren't they!

    We have lots of free pallets in the garden. We are always asking.

    Sft x

  6. can't beat a wood fire- we don't have central heating, just the Rayburn and a woodburner and cold bod that I am, its lit pretty well 24/7!

    Again, like you all the wood is collected and
    free so if you don't count the labour it's a cheap way to heat the house and counteracts the cost of oil for the Rayburn.

    Recently the National Trust felled 58 mature oaks in the wood at the back of our garden- absolute carnage- and the fellers said that to compensate for the disturbance, they give us a trailer load of ash which is great cos it doesn't need to season.

    Last week it arrived...we were (stupidly) expecting logs but found 7 20foot long tree boughs left outside the front gate!



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