The wrong pile...
It looks so easy and do-able in movies or even while watching Bob, yet since the onset of seasonal coldness, I seem to have had a slight problem with lighting a fire. How hard could it be when all one needs is an old newspaper, matches, kindling and logs of wood?
During the hottest part of the summer, most villagers do organize and refill their stacks of firewood. Is it a case of it being better in summer or a case of lemmings is not known, but regardless, it is a lot of hard work in 40 degree temperatures. The last few years we've helped the parents with this arduous business and we always get a bonus of a trailer full of logs.
Brilliant and not to be sneezed at as it makes the kitchen warm and cozy for at least one month. This year's bonus stack has had the audacity to give me a hard time though. Each time I tried to light the fire in the stove ( Aga ) it would only catch fire after the third try. Believe me, plenty of swear words were heard and to top it all off, the resident expert ( Bob ) would make a fire in seconds and then tell me each and every time how to make the fire burn. Yikes.
Anyway, I had sort of managed to get the fire going with only two tries and was feeling mighty chuffed with myself, when one evening mum phoned:
" You know Biggi, the wood we gave you needs to dry out another year. It is so difficult to light a fire with it. "Yeah, you had better believe that the first thing I did was to tell Bob that it wasn't me but the wood.
The other day, Bob cleaned up one of the sheds and discovered a whole lot of firewood which he stacked neatly into its various categories. Great stuff as all I need to do is to take a tray and load up the wood. As this wood has been resting for at least eight years, it merely needs an angry glance to catch alight... well, not that much but suffice to say that I am floating on a wave of success, as the last five times, the fire has taken straight away.
In a world where one hesitates to turn on the news lest another petty fight is aired, tweeted or talked about, it is nice to be able to take retreat in ordinary household chores and activities. Back to basics will keep one sane...