This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Well, I'm back but with what a bang.  I'm still really upset about the things from the last post.

I've been missing in action over Christmas mainly because what with Christmas and church activities and friends and family, there was not much time left for blogging. And by New Year, both my husband and I had gone down with colds that developed into chest infections so there was no inclination for blogging. My husband is still real poorly because his asthma was badly affected.

The dream of moving to a smallholding not far from where we are now is getting a bit frayed round the edges.  Just can't get enough money together for this area.  We could move to our original dream destination of mid Wales but then we would rarely see the grandchildren.  So it seems to be coming down to a choice between family and dream.

We really need to sort out the heating in this house. So, just before Christmas, we spent Serious Money - and got one of these:
This is not an actual picture of ours but it is identical to this.

The cut off date for us to be able to get a mortgage was really last summer. Wherever we went, we wanted a multi-fuel stove, so for the last year, every time I saw a bit of wood, I picked it up and brought it home.  I've brought pallets home from work too.  So we have quite a store of wood now and we can burn the wood that we collected earliest because it has dried.  We will have plenty for this winter and due to school wanting a fallen tree removed (we volunteered and school were happy because it costs them nothing for us to take it away) we will have plenty for next winter and probably into the winter after - by which time I shall have picked up plenty more.

So we had collected the wood which we thought we would be taking with us to a smallholding to start us off. Instead, we are burning it here.  It is soooo nice to be able to sit in a warm room : )  It is not a cheap option to put one of these in but it should make heating the house easier as we get older.  When we get too old to go chopping wood, we'll just have to buy in small logs but by then the price of gas or electricity will be astronomical and the logs will still hopefully be cheaper.

We are not the first in our road to go down this route.  I know of at least 5 other woodburners here.  We'll all be competing for the twigs off the trees in our road for kindling : )

So far we haven't cooked a meal on it but on three occasions we have reheated soup and I have made soda farls.  We also have a kettle on it and a couple of large flasks which we fill when the kettle starts to sing.  If we want tea, for which it is better to have boiling water, then we put a couple of cups of water from the flasks into the electric kettle and it takes seconds to boil again.  There is always enough water left in the flasks at the end of the day to fill the hot water bottles. My friend down the road prepares soup or a casserole and brings it to boiling point on the gas cooker and then leaves it to cook on her woodburner.  I'll have to give this a go.

And best of all, the heat filters up through the house and everywhere feels warmer.  The washing dries within a couple of days and I have "finished off" just one load in the tumble drier since the middle of November.  I know that I won't recoup the cost of the woodburner and the fitting but I can see that the gas and electricity bills will go down (at least in terms of units used) and that is a very good thing.  But it is the warmth that I am enjoying most : )



  • At 11:22 AM, Blogger Frugal Queen said…

    Hi Jo, the drying and damp erradicating effect of a woodburner is worth the cost alone. When we were house hunting, it had to have a stove. Our current stove burns coal and will 'do' until we can replace it. It's wonderful, we can leave a rack of laundry in the room and it's dry in no time. It also heats the whole house. Lots of love - Froogs x

  • At 2:31 PM, Blogger Kev Alviti said…

    You won't regret fitting a woodburner! We love ours. So nice when I've been on a roof all day to come home and snuggle up with my girls in front of the fire!


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