The new fire is here and I miss my grandad!

When we moved into our house the people before had closed off the lovely fireplace and put a horrid gas fire in place. It really is awful, I don’t think I can even give it away. Anyway we have now decided to open up both fireplaces so the gas engineer will be here Wednesday to remove them and we will be replacing with open fires, I cannot wait! I’ve picked up a posh looking grate for the living room today from a gentleman selling on eBay. I was quite proud of myself because I don’t really use eBay! The Luddite in me stresses about it, money transferring via computer, meeting strange people to pick things up etc.. However after making myself realise its really no different than buying in the paper or picking something up from free cycle I bit the bullet and made an offer on this fire which was accepted! It’s a lovely looking fire (pictures will follow over next day or so) and it has the bonus of the heat reflective concrete slab at the back. The theory apparently being that it directs heat back into the room. Apparently wood burners are more cost effective because they don’t allow heat to escape up the chimney. However I will point out I’ve only heard this theory from those who sell and/or fit wood burners so perhaps a little biased?

Anyway open fires have stood the test of time and it puts me another step closer to my self sufficiency lifestyle. Not only the heat aspect but I can’t wait to cook some jacket potatoes on the open fire on bonfire night!

Hopefully it will significantly reduce our heating bills! I have access to free wood will have two chimneys with a fire so house should be lovely and toasty!

Today I spoke to my grandad. My grandad is nearly 88 and not enjoying the best of health these days which is quite a trying time for him as he has always been an active man. He is quite old school so the man goes out to work and brings the bacon home so to speak and the lady stays home but he appears to have accepted that isn’t how people live today. I rang him to talk about my allotment which again being old school the sight of me in wellies with a spade had him in hysterics. It was lovely to hear as prior to this he had sounded very down and fed up with his current situation. I should explain he lives around 250 miles away and I’ve not seen him in 8 years because the trek with small children and often a job and all the day to day things just hasn’t been possible. A feeble excuse I know as 250 miles is perfectly drivable but it takes 4/5 hours so hardly day trip. Another feeble excuse but the years just fly by and suddenly you sit down and realise quite how long it’s been. This saddens me as I know he’s quite ill now and I kind of feel I’ve missed the boat a bit. He hasn’t seen two of my children, he moved over there when I was a baby so didn’t really watch me grow up and I feel now its too little too late. I rang him today because I had been out in my garden cleaning out my chickens and putting down grass seed and just thought of him. He loved his garden and held down two allotments. At that moment pottering in my garden I wanted to tell him what I’d been up to and his love for gardening hasn’t finished with him, I absolutely love it. He seemed so proud of me, all be it laughed at the thought of me digging and putting in potatoes! He told me what he used to grow and how fed up he was that his garden is so out of control because his knees and back don’t allow him to keep it up together. He told me how he had some gardening books that are many years old that he would give to my uncle to pass to me when he was next around. I’m not ashamed to say I shed a little tear when we said our goodbyes


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