Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Winter Arrives

Well it has suddenly turned into winter here and the trees have been finally forced to give up the last of their leaves. Last Friday was still chugging along at 14 degrees C like the lovely mild autumn we've had, then we woke up to a frost that covered the windscreens on Saturday, the wind changed to a biting easterly and it's been icy tundra since Sunday morning. If I were a bloke then I'd say that I'd frozen my proverbials off this morning feeding the hens and geese and de-icing their water troughs. The thermometer is reading -7.9 degrees C and it's now 9.30am. Brrrrr. Thermals now retrieved.

We had a large delivery of wood and looked forward to being all organised for when we needed to switch the heating on (which only happened on Saturday!). Pah, not so. The wood isn't seasoned and Jesse huffed along with her ovens only going up to moderate. It was weird because the fire itself was roastingly hot, so hot as to singe and melt the leather gauntlets we have for tending the fire, yet the heat wasn't transferring over to the ovens. We have since found out - via surfing waves on the internet that were almost tsunamis in our desperation to find the answer to our problem - that if the wood is unseasoned or wet, the moisture basically puts out the gaseous burn in the bottom of the flue. We need this secondary burn for a clean burn and super hot temperatures to transfer to the cooking bit. Plus this moisture allows for creasote/tar to form around every nook and cranny so needless to say, we spent 3 hours degunking her. We live and learn. She is now happily doing her stuff as we made a mercy dash to our local hardware store for some 'proper' wood. The other stuff will be good for next year so you could say we *are* organised.

Fortunately today dawns sunny and calm, released from the grip of the icy wind. We can open the volets (shutters) again and let in the light.

Today's activity - Christmas shopping.

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