As the majority of bloggers give up and head over to twitter I thought the time was right to miss yet another trend and start blogging. So dear reader I will try to blog everyday on the trials and delights of living as an expat in Puglia.
It looks like winter is hanging on here this year and today we enter another cold snap with the windchill up here in the hills around Martina Franca keeping the temperature at barely 2C during the day. So the fire is already lit and the wood is burning.
Time for a photo :
Romantic isn’t it
The fire not only heats the room but above it hidden behind the brick work is a water tank. The fire heats the water and once it reaches a temperature that you set on a gauge the pump kicks in and circulates the said water around to six radiators in the upstairs part of the house.
Fiendishly clever and means that the heat is used instead of just disappearing up the chimney. Oh so green but oh so laborious because the single ingredient is wood. Lots of it.
Sometime in early summer you head off to the local bar and find a log man, ours is Francesco, and place your first order. This lot was 3,000 kilos and cost €6 a quintale which is 100 kgs. Now the log man doesn’t do stacking , indeed he doesn’t do getting out of the truck . He does push tilt, push dump and then engage gear and goodbye. You do stacking after you have got it all to the woodshed and when that lot is done he comes again with the second load ( winters are long and cold here in the sun soaked south as the brochures call it). And quite a lot of it is too big to fit on the fire so it has to sawn as well. Then dear reader the wood has to be carried to the fire . We start evening fires in mid October , move to late afternoon in mid November and to all day fires in January and February before gradually heading back through to evening fires in April. An all day fire is about 50 kgs of wood and evening fire about 35 kgs which keeps you busy but that bottle of wine in the picture is a great incentive. So as you enjoy Jo Stafford singing think of me in the woodshed getting the next 10 kgs and heading back through todays weather to keep the said fireplace going. More tomorrow.