Well, it’s officially moving from autumn to winter. My gorgeous leaf is still clinging to the tree so I’ve still not succumbed to putting the heating on, despite the protests around me. As soon as I open my mouth to reply to the protests, their eyes roll and they mutter: “I know, put a jumper on…” so I must be getting through! However, we are indulging in the luxury of lighting the fires of an evening, to keep the chills at bay!
As well as being a lovely signal for cosy evenings around the fire, it’s also been a chance for me to put to the test my recycled paper logs, the making of which was this summer’s newest hobby. Actually, although I did make quite a few from time to time, as I became unwell it actually became my son’s new ‘hobby’ the take-up of mysteriously co-incided with each time he was skint and needed a sub: enter bartering and slave labour as a new means of organising winter fuel – totally appropriate to the quest of downshifting, me thinks!
Don’t panic or phone child-line, he’s 21, can’t budget to save his life and ran out of pub money. His logging taught him a hard lesson in life, that’s all (actually not that hard, he was just playing with paper-mache, it was like having my six year old back again)!
My mum was delirious and fastidious about about dropping off her newspapers and I can’t think of a better use for the Daily Mail than to shred it, soak it in water in an old dustbin for a week and then squeeze the life out of what’s left into a brick shaped lump – Joe and I spent many a happy hour supporting The Mail through this transformation to something actually useful and of benefit to society!
Tragically, it really appealed to my nesting instinct to organise the drying ‘logs’ into the garage, as you can see:
Incidentally, I do realise that it’s even more tragic to have photographed them!
We haven’t put any into the woodburning stove because although it’s a multi-fuel stove, Himself isn’t happy with the idea of sticking these logs in there (I know, don’t ask me, I think it’s to do with their Mail origins) but this evening I’ve lit the open fire in the dining room, essentially so I can sit and blog at the computer in relative warmth, but in reality so that I can secretly time them as I’m really intrigued as to how long they take, and thus how much money it’s saving. Truth is, I don’t think it’s saving that much as we’ve got through three of them in about 2 1/2 hours, so that’s under an hour each. Now the log maker blurb said that each log burns for up to two hours, so I guess the key things are the phrase “up to”and the fact that they are predominantly made with The Mail and therefore aren’t really hot stuff! Still, for each one that burns merrily for (nearly) an hour, there’s a few lumps of coal less being used, no? At least so far it’s enough to keep the frosty parts at bay (that’s weather-speak, I don’t mean Himself, obviously)!
Speaking of which, it’ll soon be time for hot water bottles too!