Put the wood in the ‘ole

“Put the wood in the ‘ole”, that’s what my grandfather used to say when anyone left a door slightly ajar. Him and Nan had a cold house with no central heating, and trying to heat it through was next to impossible on a state pension, so they lived in one room and woe betide if you left that door open.

One of the very few low points of living in Spain is keeping warm in the winter, our house is lovely in the summer, wonderfully cool, we come inside for a break from the searing temperatures. In the winter though, b-b-b-brass monkeys. Our front door is metal and acts like a negative radiator. There’s no central heating here either, just a wood burner, which is great but, it’s placed inside a fireplace and doesn’t do what it should do. These things are supposed to be free-standing to heat the room through, ours just heats the chimney and the two foot in front of it. Ho hum. At least the kids are happy.


Two of the “kids”, Heidi and Lady.

This is this winters supply of wood, or “good” as our landlord calls it, (he speaks English really well*, but trips up on the “w”, getting him to say good wood is a constant source of amusement for Vanessa). Normally we get olive wood, it’s cheap and slow burning, the only thing is it doesn’t burn very hot. So this year we got a sack of olive and one of oak. Trouble is, mister arborist here can’t tell the difference between the two woods and thought we’d been delivered two sacks of olive. We do have a meter that’ll decide which is which though, if the cats are sprawled in the centre of the room, the wood is hot, if they are pressing their noses against the glass, that’ll be the olive.

*We have bilingual conversations where he speaks in English and we speak in Spanish, most confusing?¿!


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