We're quite pleased in a funny sort of way because at last we've had a frost and that can be unusual in itself in the Tamar Valley this side of Christmas.
The warm,mild weather has been lovely but is feeling wrong for almost-Winter so we opened the curtains to this; an ice-clear view across to Kit Hill (yes this is it for those reading The Short Day Dying by Peter Hobbs) and it looked and felt right.
Finally time to swap summer for winter around the house, fleece lined curtains, winter bedding, blankets, logs stacked up on the verandah, kindling wood at the ready and any day now a new woodburning stove.
We had our very first one back in 1980 when they were quite a new thing, a lovely Canadian one called a Fisher Grandma Bear and we always regret selling it with our last house. It was a real old and faithful friend.We knew its ways, could easily keep it in all night on one log and it would virtually heat our entire terraced cottage.
We've done lots of building projects over the years and built a hugenormous sitting room with a chimney soon after we moved here but made a mistake with a woodburner that eats wood like it was its last meal and doesn't retain heat like the other one in the house (don't buy a Stovax Blenheim,conversely if you're desperate for one we have a second-hand one going on eBay any day now, buyer collects!)
Bookhound had never designed or built a chimney before and the technicalities were huge for such a simple looking thing, surely just an upward-pointing tunnel that lets the smoke out of your house? Oh no. Nor did we realise it could be quite so temperamental when there's a North wind blowing.
Then someone came along and said "I hope to goodness you had a topping out ceremony" and we didn't know you were supposed to do that either when you build a chimney.So we had a belated one of those, but didn't really know exactly what was involved, other than God bless this chimney and may you never catch fire because we live many miles from civilisation and the fire brigade are bound to get lost, and the house will be a pile of ash by the time you find us.
There's a lot to this building lark that we've learnt by trial and error over the years, but if there's one thing we do know about it's logs.This was our old chicken run corner until the sad demise of our final two, Mack and Mabel, bantams extraordinaire.So now we are a chicken-free zone (and consequently much less of a rat's playground) and it's become woodpile corner with scenic aspect and Bookhound's pride and joy.This is the place to send cross boys when life gets too much,go and chop some logs, that'll make you feel better.
That's Cornwall in the distance and more logs growing but be assured, no rainforests were desecrated in the accumulation of this woodpile, the trees all fell down of their own volition.