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Keep the home fires burning
Tue 7-Sep-10
8:00 pm
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islandgirl
Isle of Wight

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Just sitting here in the kitchen, realised it is getting a bit on the chilly side in the evenings and that made me wonder about how much longer the log burner would be in hibernation for.  I love its welcome and warmth but if ignored for a length of time, whilst going to the shop or ironing in another room, it can die down to a shiver. I discovered some years ago that if fir cones are thrown on a few embers the fire will spring back to life, not only are they free but make a walk in the woods much more satisfying. If you have children or grandchildren they love to join in and compete as to who can collect the most.  After the snow last winter any tips on how to keep extra warm this winter?

Tue 7-Sep-10
8:22 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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Hi Islandgirl waveI actually gave in and lit the rayburn yesterday. This house gets very damp very quickly and we had torrential rain. Thats my excuse anyway. Wonderful the difference it makes, but the dust it creates is a real pain.

Last winter every dog walk became a firewood hunting expedition. Trouble was I had to go further and further afield to find anything. I burnt a few fir cones, stuffed toilet roll tubes with newspaper, even tried burning books! Funny, they didn't burn very well in my open fire and I always felt a little guilty about it.

My Grampy said wood makes you warm three times. When you carry it home, when you saw it up and when you burn it. He collected wood every day and had the most magnificent wood pile.

Other ways to keep warm? Wearing fingerless mitts while using the computer, wrapping myself in a blanket, never wearing less than two pairs of socks and big fluffy boot style slippers, hot water bottles, hot drinks and jigging up and down a lot!

Oh and eucolyptus leaves have lots of oil and flare up well, also sprigs of dried fir.

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Tue 7-Sep-10
9:03 pm
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islandgirl
Isle of Wight

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Didn't know about eucalyptus leaves - thankyou- sounds odd to say but I quite envy you,  already having lit your rayburn, as you can probably tell  I'm not a lover of hot weather!

Yes, wood does certainly heat you 3 times, the first 2 being the hard work and I too collect fallen branches on my walks, the best haul being after a windy night! The branches never last as long as the bigger logs but I have more of a feeling of satisfaction when feeding them into the fire. My husband laughs at me when he sees me trotting in with my meagre offering but as a certain supermarket says "every little helps"!  Glad you didn't say wear a wooly hat though, I'm not a vain person but I just can't stand flat hair!

Wed 8-Sep-10
6:58 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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I go for the heating doesn't go on until I have four layers on and still can't keep warm but having access to a forest and having had the warmest summer on record means we gave in earlier and put our woodburning stove on to heat our flat - it was reading 17C in the living room though whistle.

When we lived in England we had a chainsaw and a willingness to cut problem trees down for friends and friends of friends as long as we could have the wood and that gave us quite a bit of wood over the years. cheers

Wed 8-Sep-10
4:48 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  I am very lucky in that on this estate there is an abundance of cut wood and a very willing gardener who will put it into logs for me.  All I need now is an all round boiler in my fire which will feed the central heating.  Then I can get rid of the gas which costs me a fortune - LPG.  I have an old boiler which is inadequate and as it is a wooden bungalow, there is very little insulation.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Wed 8-Sep-10
10:54 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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islandgirl said:

Didn't know about eucalyptus leaves - thankyou- sounds odd to say but I quite envy you,  already having lit your rayburn, as you can probably tell  I'm not a lover of hot weather!

 


 

A word of warning about the eucalyptus leaves, they seem to do nothing then suddenly flare up so go careful.

I've let the rayburn go out, the weather dried up and its warmer again. I do live in sunny Cornwall after all, palm trees in the garden and everything. I'm just unfortunate that this house is an icebox. In summer I put a jumper on indoors and take it off to go out.

Danast, I envy you your willing gardener who'll cut logs. Someone gave me several small tree trunks last winter with no thought as to how I was going to cut them up. doh

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Wed 8-Sep-10
11:01 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave Just as long as you realise he isn't actually my gardener, but the  estate's.  big_laugh  He is very kind to me though.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Thu 9-Sep-10
7:08 am
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Coconut flares up too! We were moving house and had some coconut shell halves lying about waiting for a project, so decided the best way to get rid of them was to put them on the fire - big mistake. My son's next exclamation was "Dad! Dad!" in a rather panic stricken voice and hubby had to spray the fire with water to dampen the flames a little. Whoops!

Tue 14-Sep-10
10:37 pm
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Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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I don't miss my old open fire at all when the weather turns cold. We still light it now and then purely for the pretty, but most our heating comes from the oil boiler these days. I love hitting a switch and getting 30 min or an hour of heat. We're holding off putting the system on the timer just yet.

I do what I can to keep the heat in, closing curtains when it gets dark, not leaving windows open longer than needed; and I make sure G and I wear wooly socks about the house when it gets cold.

It's 14-15 degrees C here these past few days.

Tue 14-Sep-10
11:05 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  Shereen, is it as cold and wet and windy with you as it is here.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Tue 14-Sep-10
11:08 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Here, too - it has been quite a dismal day - constant drizzling. This morning it was 14 degrees here.thumbs_down

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt"
Tue 14-Sep-10
11:15 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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We had some horrendous heavy showers with some thunder and I believe further up the hill there were hailstones.  eeek

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Wed 15-Sep-10
10:15 am
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Shereen
Near Belfast, Northen Ireland

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danast said:

wave  Shereen, is it as cold and wet and windy with you as it is here.


 

Oh yes indeedy. All my plant pots have blown over, and it's so windy the rain is getting blown in the tiny gap when windows are on the vent. Also I'm wearing kneesocks and boots (under my work trousers) for the first time since the start of the year.

Wed 15-Sep-10
11:04 am
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JoannaS
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Yesterday was really pleasant but today it is mizzly, and we are supposed to be going out mushroom picking again today. The layers are going on and I have sat doing my course work with a blanket over my knees (why is it a blanket over the knees keeps the brain cells functioningeeek). One thing we have found is having a dehumidifier works well to improve the feel of the flat, damp air is so cold no matter what temperature it is.

12 degrees outside and just a shade under 20C inside but it does feel chilly (dehumidfier just gone on, I suppose the food drier doesn't help whistle)

Wed 20-Oct-10
2:50 pm
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islandgirl
Isle of Wight

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Well it is sure cold enough today to light the fire, brrrh, so wondered if anyone would be interested in a tip for cleaning off the black stuff from the log burner glass. It was on an episode of "How clean is your house?" - take a scrunched up piece of newspaper and dampen it, dab into cold ash from the burner and rub away the marks, rub after with a dry piece of newspaper and voila - a lovely clean window. It really works a treat with no effort at all.smile

 

Also I have invested a couple of pounds ( well 4 to be exact! ) in 2 cast iron enamelled casserole dishes to have a few experiments in cooking on the log burner top, last night I boiled just water to see how long it would take and from stone cold to boiling took about 20 mins with the fire just "ticking over" rather than blazing. So figured if I put a kettle on a trivet, it would warm through and then when I wanted boiling water I could then just put it directly on the hot top and it would then take perhaps about 5-10 mins? Just gotta get a kettle now!  Does anyone else do this and have you any tips on what to cook and how long for? chef

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