by Meridith Mckinnon
Ahh, the warmth of the wood fire – the cold of an Australian winter can be as unforgiving as the heat of our summer. The Australian home surely has to be adaptable to cater for such extremes. I have always heated my home with wood. Every home I have lived in has either had an open wood fire or wood heater. And there is nothing like the beginning of the cold and stoking of the fire. Just as there is nothing like the end of the cold and ...
... letting the fire gradually go out.
Working from home has its benefits when it comes to wood heating. I am here to stoke the fire and load the wood box which is handy for those in the family who are off to work as they come home to a cosy wood heated house. Except for the.. times when I am so engrossed in writing that, heaven forbid, I let the coals get low!
What was I doing all day, I feel my husband saying under his breath. And why isn’t the wood box topped up? Then he’s out in the dark fetching wood from the shed to see us through til the morning. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.
My family has a love of all things wood and that includes burning it. As passionate wood cutters they are also wood growers. All wood that is harvested is also renewed and this is the cycle of sustainable wood heating. So while we do use an enormous amounts of wood during winter we are fortunate to have a large property with plantations of new wood growing at all stages.
But the down side of wood heating, if there is one would be the labour involved, the physicality, the dust and the constant ‘mess’ that comes with carting wood through the door inside. In the pristine world we live in homes are not cut out for wood ‘messiness’. Also the spiders and bugs. And the sometimes the inconsistency of heat. In an age where we turn a dial for heat or cool and demand instant temperature with an even distribution, this does not happen with wood. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So as I just checked the wood, opened the vent and stoked the fire, I can snuggle down for some more writing, after my interlude with this blog, back to the task at hand of my next book.
I think this winter will be a good one …