Any regular readers of this blog will of likely noted I have two favourite topics.
- The weather.
- The fire.
I cover the weather a lot, and you could argue I’ve already used my 4 months (The time the average Brit spends talking about it in their lifetime) in January and February this year. Only you may of noticed that I haven’t mentioned the fire for a while now, in fact blowing the dust off the archive the last time I mentioned the stove was the 01 December! That’s a whole 11 weeks ago, one can rightly assume that for the last 11 weeks we have been living in a toasty stove bliss.
Had I been sensible I would of realised it was only a matter of the time for the Hobbit to have one of it’s moments! And boy did it have one last night. Only this time we were slightly to blame as well. I’m working long shifts at work this week, which whilst tiring is equally awesome as by the time I get to the boat James has the fire in full heat generation mode. Only last night as I sprung through the door I was met with a terrifying sight, my vision instantly clouded by the fog of my own breath. As the mist cleared the sight got all the more serious, James, Rosie and Heidi huddled around the lifeless stove.
Hoping this was all some awful dream I entered further into the boat, but this was not a trick of the eye, or a nightmare, the fire was not playing nicely. Stupid bloody hobbit.
This weekend we had forgotten to top up on kindling, meaning we were relying on the coal, firelighters and witch craft to keep us warm. I joined the prayer circle around the stove, but with our best fire dances and chants the hobbit still didn’t want to come to life. We looked around in desperation, weighing up what wooden objects we really needed in the boat and what could be sacrificed in the name of warmth, there was in fact very little.
Things were getting desperate, we’d burned all cardboard on the boat, what was left? Should we head to the nearest bushes and scavenge some twigs and branches? Should we adopt some reindeer, train the dogs to pull a sled and go wholeheartedly into an Inuit lifestyle.
But then I had a wonderful brainwave, I have an old pair of trousers to throw out, I grabbed them and like vultures we started to tear strips of the fabric, turning them into fire lighter carriers. And a good 45 pain staking minutes later we had a fire. Granted it was no where close to our normal levels of heat but it held and kept the frost bite away for the evening.