Thursday, 6 February 2014

One lump of coal and a picture frame.

My husband is priceless! 
People often ask me 'how long have you been married?' when I tell them just shy of 20 yrs, they almost always reply with either '..and you haven't killed him?'...or 'how do you both stay so young and happy?'..ok they might not say young exactly but I am sure they mean it.
The secret to our marriage is laughter and fun.....and plenty of gin!  Not really...ok maybe really...but laughter and plenty of it.  We don't go looking for things to be happy about they just seem to happen.
Take the coal.
Seriously, that is the coal bucket with three massive BRICKS of coal in it.  My husband has found a that is ominous.  This 'man' is about 120 yrs old, looks like a gnome and will keep you talking for hours in the rain, apparently, I don't buy the coal I just make the fires with what the husband brings home.  Proper hunter gatherer in this house!

These are the logs.  You guessed it.  Husband knows a man.......
This 'man' I have met and he is a good chap with a lovely wife and fabulous children, but he is a lot like my husband and if its a bargin they have it, sort of modern day Del Boy. 
This 'man' is also a gardener in Wales..not that being Welsh has anything to do with it other than he has a great accent.
These are oak logs and I am not sniffin' at them, they burn beautifully and smell lovely.  By burn I do mean eventually, they are hard wood and I have big coal!

I am chief fire maker in our house.  I grew up in a house with no central heating and I love a good coal fire, and hubby just puts the darn things out, he is like water to a good flame, one look from him and the flame just fizzles and smokes.
Until recently..and by recently I mean until I moaned...hubby and son were chopping 'bits' off these logs for me to start the fire, a lot of huffin' and puffin' and some of it was actually at the fire, to get the thing going, my record was over an hour encouraging a teeny tiny flame into life, I am not a quitter.  But I do nag.  So I did. 

True to hubby's nature rather than kindling I get to use up the lengths of picture framing he has left over from his picture framing days that are still in the garage, but at least this burns!
We rarely get a newspaper, once or twice a year, which isn't a bad thing as I go rummaging in the recycling for paper to burn and get more and more irate at the paper that is obviously coated in some fire retardant and just will not burn.  Occasionally hubby treats me to a newspaper.  I kid not, he comes home with 'I have something for you' and hands me a newspaper he has found at the garage or in his lorry.  I used to get really excited when he came home with 'I have something for you'...don't be rude...until the day he brought home a kettle and toaster combo...I was not amused and he really couldn't see what he had done wrong. 
Diamonds darling, diamonds!!

As I said, its a good thing we don't have newspapers I am often distracted...check out the chook in the Hereford Times :P
So to the fire.

Its a silly little grate and the grate itself is dated but it works and after 10 yrs of not having a fire we finally had the chimney swept this year.  On the left is the log from last nights fire, partly burnt, on the right is the log waiting to be burnt.  I put them in to begin with it gives them a head start on getting warm!

What you can't see is the old coal from yesterday under the paper I need that old coal...

You didn't believe me when I said big coal did you?

And why do we love fires?
My kids call the fire the 'dribble drier' as our Gordy (our brain damaged cat that dribbles) is very fond of the open heat and positions himself appropriately.  We don't leave him unattended as he has a tendency to over heat.

So how many lumps of coal keeps the fire burning all night?
Just three!
and a couple of logs and that give me coal for the next fire too!!
Laney x


  1. Your husband and mine are surely related. Mine cannot start a fire to save his life although he insists on trying and continually smokes us out of the house. He puts in huge logs and little paper or kindling and expects the magic to happen as he were Harry Potter.I must wait until he's out of the room and rearrange everything to get the thing going! Patience Dear, Patience. There is nothing like a good fire in the stove to heat the house, central heat while warm just does not warm the bones..

  2. I get all warm and fuzzy inside when hubby brings me home something that he knows only i would love....a special rock or interesting seed pod or a bird feather........ Its nice to be KNOWN by someone isn't it? Hugs! deb

  3. My grandparents heated their farm house with lumps of coal like that-do you use the coal in a fireplace or is that a woodstove?

  4. I've never had a real fire that I can recall but this looks wonderful and as for Gordy, what a poseur?

  5. That is a really cute pic of Gordy! Have you signed up for this years Bead Soup Blog Party?
    I had such fun with the beads you sent last year and I can't wait to see what this year holds :-)


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