Random thoughts of a rapidly ageing Englshman who wishes he was retired and living in Fance

Sunday, 1 March 2009


I suppose its a man thing. A sort of hunter gatherer instinct.
Stalking, trapping, binging home a dead dinosaur for dinner. Lighting the fire and listening to the gentle crackle, watching the patterns in the flames and catching a whiff of woodsmoke. It brought a cave to life, made it a home, somewhere good and happy and relaxed. Everything you'd want.

Of course these days with shops and deep feezers and stuff, we generally don't do and don't need to do the chasse bit, but the fireplace is still the heart of the home.
So whenever I see an old fireplace there's a second look...or third and fourth...
That must be why French estate agents are so keen to show you their piece de resistance....
La Cheminee. It'll sell the house no problem....like these....

Of course they weren't all that bad....this one looked almost practical...note the modern fitted kitchen -
Strange thing is, the agents are right....ooooh a real fire.......how lovely, we can sit and toast our toes, maybe even a crumpet or two.
I think I read somewhere that the French are the biggest users of wood burning stoves. Which probably explains why there's so much woodland in France, until you think again and wonder why there's any left...!!!
Which reminds me. We have a Cave, or to be strictly accurate, a bit of the house where the floor (earth) is a couple of foot (sorry it can't be in France) numpteen centi thingies - below everything else. Its where I put the wood which is dumped elgantly by Michele and his tractor in the courtyard, all cut into the correct sized pieces for the poele which he dutifully inspects each time we order some wood. Interestingly you buy it by the "stair" which seems to be about a cubic metre. Unforuntately there's an upstairs to the cave (although there aren't any stairs, or even a floor) and frankly the beams for the ceiling are a bit low in the entrance. Which is why I knocked myself out stacking wood. Ouch!


Susan said...

France consumes 20% of the total EU firewood burned annually, but is 6th in per capita consumption (behind Finland, Sweden and Austria). The area of woodland in France is actually increasing, as it is a good rural earner. The choice of trees planted is often a concern though, as there is no guarantee that trees cut down are replaced by the same species. Yours in Nerdiness :-)

NickL said...

I'm impressed!