Winter Nights

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 :

By the Fireside


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.


About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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3 Responses to Winter Nights

  1. Jackie Lomax says:

    Good on you Mike if you can actually blog and log! Look forward to September – will get going on flights near the beginning of the month and let you know…despite a couple of false spring days here, we have now reverted to slanting rain andanother snow forecast.x

  2. Ron Finn says:

    I hope all is well. Your retirement place seems quite and chilly.Give me best to Geraldine.

  3. MaryLou Gossage says:

    Really enjoyed this snapshot of life in sunny, southern Italy. Will wait til summer to visit. We can help stack the next lot of wood.

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