Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Frugal Fires and Thoughts of Yesteryear....

Hello there ....

Hope you all had a nice Christmas .... think I have had enough of it now .... all the sitting around and eating .... a girl can get a bit stir crazy.

I went to help Hubby P do a bit of sorting out at his storage containers today... it was nice to get a bit of fresh air.... bit of rosy into the old cheeks.

We had a good sort out of all the old furniture and brought home any tatty and broken bits for the fire .... we don't like to waste a thing ...... and if its wood it will burn and keep us warm.

May look a bit odd but its warming my tootsies as I type.

I remember as a girl my Grandad telling tales of the hardships during and just after the war, he was a Builder and cleared the odd house for a firm of Solicitors.

This is He....

He taught me how to make a fire ... how to lay it with dry paper .... save all the scraps of packaging from the kitchen ... it will all burn, add some dry sticks/kindling and one or two lumps of coal on top.
Put a light to the bottom and open up the vents so that it draws, if there is little wind/the fire is slow to get going, hold a sheet of newspaper across the front of the fire causing the air to be drawn up from under, and through the fire .... feeding the flames with oxygen and increasing their heat and power. Of course you need to remove the newspaper before it scorches and sets on fire..!

One of his tricks with an open grate/fire was to put a house brick to the back of the fire basket so that the fire was more to the front pushing heat into the room, he use to say its silly to spend good money heating the chimney.

I remember he and my Mother talking of the hard times when coal was either too expensive or could not be found, Grandad would break up old furniture to burn, another time he had cleared an old shop, much of it was old books, so he burnt the old and tattered ones .... they were dense and slow burning and kept the fire in.
He was a great reader, and I must say I would find it hard to burn good books but as he would say .... Needs Must.

Shoes .... old leather shoes were another source of keeping warm ... Grandad had cleared an old Pawnbrokers.
My Mother said as children they had great fun emptying all the little boxes .... when a someone pawned an item the the 'Pawnbroker' gave the customer a number and put it in a box with the number on it so it could easily be found when the customer came back and paid the money to retrieve it.
There were boxes and boxes of all sorts of everyday items .... lots and lots of them being shoes.

A lot of this stuff was kept in the cellar and Mum was sent down to get a couple of shoes to keep the fire going, no coal in the cellar but plenty of shoes!

We moan about things being hard but I think things will get harder before they get better, maybe we will be the ones telling our Grandchildren of the 'Hard times'.

I found a couple of Pic's of my young life to give you an idea of the barren moorland in which I grew up ... I just loved it ..... we had a freedom to run wild, something you do not see nowadays.

This is a photo of my Best Friend ... we grew together and here we are out in my first car ... I think we found an icecream van .... in the middle of nowhere!

Good days .... smiley days!

This next one is of my back garden .... me being chased by a big brother with a popgun!

In the depths of winter and Ivan is still wearing his short trousers with his wellies!

Twas just so then ... and nobody blinked an eye .... I'm sure nowadays we would be seen as deprived or something .... and it would be frowned upon to give us guns to play with.

Ahhhhh well ..... enough for now ...... take care xx