“The wood burner’s gone out again and we’ve run out of firelighters.”
Danny was exasperated. We need the wood burner to be chugging away all evening. The heating is on for a couple of hours from 8-10pm but the stove warms the kitchen and takes the chill off the bedroom above. A snug bolt hole on a chilly winter evening is essential.
Many years ago I dropped in to see my Aunt and found Uncle Peter making firelighters out of rolled and knotted newspaper. I adored my Uncle. Handsome and debonair, he loved horseracing, country pursuits and poured a whisky and soda to die for.
Although he always trained his own gun dogs, which needs patience and skill, he was not known as a practical man. In fact this was the first time that I’d seen him doing anything remotely useful for the house. These firelighters were secretly christened ‘Uncle Peters’ by my family from that historic day.
When he died I was astonished to find a pair of jeans amongst the dapper suits in his wardrobe. I mentioned this discovery to my aunt her response was quick.
“I bought them for him. He wore them just once.”
She could be a bit of a dragon.
We have made ‘Uncle Peters’ in the past. These work reasonably well but are a bit of a fiddle to make, need really dry kindling and are not wildly efficient. Last week, without a trusty firelighter, I suddenly had a brainwave. The coal scuttle was full of loo roll tubes. I scrunched up newspaper really tight and pushed it into a roll leaving a ‘wick’ of newspaper at one end. Danny lit the wick and placed the tube in amongst the damp kindling. It burnt for quite a while and easily lit the temperamental stove.
So don’t throw away your loo roll or kitchen roll tubes. They make terrific firelighters and they’re free.
Leave a reply