Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Home and Hearth - The Fireplace


Logs to burn, logs to burn,
Logs to save the coal a turn
Here's a word to make you wise,
When you hear the woodman's cries.
Never heed his usual tale,
That he has good logs for sale,
But read these lines and really learn,
the proper kind of logs to burn.

OAK logs will warm you well,
If they're old and dry.
LARCH logs of pine wood smell,
But the sparks will fly.
BEECH logs for Christmas time,
YEW logs heat well.
SCOTCH logs it is a crime,
For anyone to sell.

BIRCH logs will burn too fast,
CHESTNUT scarce at all
HAWTHORN logs are good to last,
If you cut them in the fall
HOLLY logs will burn like wax
You should burn them green
ELM logs like smouldering flax
No flame to be seen

PEAR logs and APPLE logs,
they will scent your room.
CHERRY logs across the dogs,
Smell like flowers in bloom
But ASH logs, all smooth and grey,
burn them green or old;
Buy up all that come your way,
They're worth their weight in gold.

Unfortunately I have been unable to locate the Author to attribute this to. It can be found in E. M. Hull’s Poem Book of the Gael:

Now is when we should all be stocking up for our fires - as ideally fire-wood needs to be nice and dry before being used on the fire as if it isn't it can cause a multitude of problems as the poem details above. I envy those of you who have an open fire/woodburner as it is truly the hearth of the home with many providing heat and hot water, for the household and in today's day and age it is beneficial to have a choice rather than being reliant on one specific form of heating.

As a child we always had a fire and I used to lay on the hearth rug in front of the warm flames reading or watching the T.V. and/or just dreaming. But we used to be warm and snug and always got into our jim jams in front of the fire and always got dressed in front of the fire. Latterly as a young bride in my first home, we had an open fire which was wonderful. My husband at the time got fed up with it though and replaced it with a living gas fire, but it was never quite the same as our log fires were, so to me a practical lesson was learned there and then if you have the facilities for a proper fire then at all costs keep it wherever possible.

At the moment I don't have open fires; the house we rent has two chimney stacks, but both are fitted with gas fires which are ugly and both have been condemned anyway. I think because of the age of the house that extensive work would have to be done to get them working again, which is a position we have no control over at the moment being as we merely rent. However, I can dream and plot and plan and one day I will have my fires again, but in the interim I have been researching bits and bobs for when I do and thought I would create this post so that I have something to relate back to for the future. I also thought I would share what I have found out as it may be useful for those of you who have a proper fire or who intend to re-instate them.

I also like the look of the new multi-fuel stoves - one day.

1 comment:

  1. There's nothing like an open fire is there? Like you I grew up with one and had one in my first house but this house has no proper chimney even though it appears to have both chimney and fire place. I had it checked out but nothing doing. Open fires are a lot of work but I think they are worth it.


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