And it seems we’re not alone in enjoying the organisation of our wood supplies and lighting the first autumn fires. Apparently the number of people who rent plots of woodland, known as ‘woodlotters’, has been growing significantly.
So I’m delighted to find we are on-trend and to now review The Little Book of Building Fires: How to Chop, Scrunch, Stack & Light a Fire, by Sally Coulthard.
It’s a cute little book, with board covers and attractive black and white linocut illustrations. The perfect introduction for those who are bored with central heating and want to get back to the elemental experience of heating their home with fire.
The Little Book of Building Fires covers the basics of how fire works, woodburners v open fires, and sourcing firewood (a regular topic of conversation among fire lovers!) Also how to split, store and season your logs and how to get a good fire going. A really useful Tree Table shows which wood is good for burning – not all are, believe it or not.
I love the section on The Fragrant Fire. Pleasantly scented smoke adds yet another dimension to the appeal of an open fire, and I like the idea of foraging for fallen pine cones, harvesting herbs, and using citrus peel and used spice pods that would otherwise be thrown away.
There are also guidelines for keeping your fire safe, and a directory of useful organisations and woodburner manufacturers. All easily readable in short sections.
A lovely Christmas present for the aspiring pyromaniac in your life, or for adding to the enjoyment of your fire over the winter.
(Black and white photos from The Little Book of Building Fires, published by Anima, an imprint of Head of Zeus).