This week a sudden daylight fall in temperature at noon from around 20 degrees centigrade to less than 15 degrees prompted me to think about winter heating.
We have a GPL gas tank buried in the garden to supply hot water, the gas cooker and central heating but I only like to use this supply for a quick, initial method to get the house warm. For the hot water there is a ceramic heating dish on my roof which works well, even on (sunny) winter days, provided you have your shower in the afternoon, and for the heating there is nothing to beat a nice log fire.
The only problem is that the wood merchant doesn’t do any loads less than twenty quintali (quintals). A quintale is one hundred kilogrammes. A kilogramme is around 2.2 lbs. So twenty quintali equals 4409,2452436976 lbs. or a little over thirty nine hundredweight (39.36825757076198 to be exact), taking one hundredweight as equalling 112 lb. in imperial weights.
This is what thirty-nine hundredweight of wood looks like.
Last year I had to shift this load into the wood pile mostly by myself. Fortunately this year I managed to organize volunteers to assist me. All the same it did take the better part of three hours to move the wood and stack it neatly against the garden wall (and cover it, of course)..
Even though a volunteer is worth ten pressed men they do need feeding and the work concluded with a hearty British breakfast of (duck) eggs and bacon and either a nice cup of tea or a glass of Guinness (or both).
With all the supply of wood available from the large forests enveloping us it seems absurd that people should choose any other heating source. The problem, however, is that for wood you must have space to store it and be reasonably fit to move and stack it. The space is there and I hope to be reasonably fit for some time to come – I would not like to have to switch over to a pellet stove let alone the expensive gas!
Wood, by far, remains the best option where we are, both in terms of ease of supply and economy of cost. (One quintal of wood costs around ten Euros).
So roll on winter – we have nothing to fear from your icy blasts!