Fires From Hell !

There is nothing nicer than sitting round a cosy log fire on a cold winter day, unless you live in my house! We have 2 fires, one in the living room and one in the kitchen. Now the fire in the living room is great, it’s front loading and most of the time easy to light, except for today!
It’s 5am and I’ve woken up in need of the ‘ ladies room ‘, I notice the fire is almost out, so as it’s so cold, I try to rescue it. It’s pitch black and as our winter bedroom is just off the living room, I can’t put the light on as it would wake Andy. So here I am, on my hands and knees, with only the light of my phone, trying to get the fire going. The dogs think it’s time to get up, so they are running around the room with excitement. Dogs paws and Lino just don’t go together, it’s like sitting in the room with tap dancers! I’m trying to fumble around in the dark for paper and kindling whilst trying to keep the dogs quiet, not my idea of fun at that time of the morning. It takes me nearly an hour to get the fire going, yes nearly an hour! ( Advice to self, never try to rescue a fire with only the smallest of embers left, just start afresh!)
The fires have, not only become a challenge but an obsession with me. There is an art to lighting fires as well as keeping them ticking over at night, an art that I haven’t quite mastered. I’ve almost mastered the art as far as the living room fire is concerned except for keeping it ticking overnight is a bit ‘ hit and miss’ but the petchka in the kitchen is another story. There have been times where I just want to get a lump hammer to it!
It’s only a cheap top loader and when I can get it lit properly it really belts out the heat but what a bloody nightmare to light! I have tried so many different techniques, I should be an expert by now, but can I get it to light first time, NO!!! It usually takes me 3 attempts, by the time I’ve finally cracked it, I’m frozen to the core and the air is blue. When I do manage to get them both lit it’s a full time job to keep them tendered, either that or I’ve just become obsessed! ( probably the latter ).
Anyway, the moral of this story is, don’t be a cheapskate like us, always buy a decent fire……… I know what I want for Christmas next year ūüôā


  1. Nicole Hinds

    Thanks Mariet, this made me laugh so much. I try to light up our fire in our apartment every morning and it is annoyingly difficult to do. So I totally understand what you are going through. My dogs are trying to help as well…and in the moment we have 7!!!!! Our two dogs Hannah and Hugo and 5 Puppies which we rescued 3 weeks ago. We will bring them over to Germany where we already found homes for two of them.Rila, the little one will stay with us. So if anyone want a puppy ;-))
    If we don’t hear from each other before X-mas I wish you and your husband a merry X-mas and another exciting and successful year 2014.
    All the best, Nicole Hinds

    1. andyandmariet

      Thank you Nicole, after writing the blog I went to light the petchka in the kitchen, failed, suffice to say I’m still trying to bloody light it haha. 7 dogs! I only have two and they’re a handful. I’m off to the UK tomorrow for a week, I need the holiday but I’m afraid Andy has to stay here to look after the dogs ūüôā anyway hope you have a good Christmas and an even better New Year ūüôā

  2. marklivo

    looking forward to seeing you,i cheat and pre wax loads of kindling with wax,keeps going alot longer so the fire will catch,if all else fails,shit loads of petrol,totally unsafe and dangerous,but makes a great fire…..only joking by the way…love ya…xxxxxxx

  3. Jan Miller

    Mariet, I was chuckling away at your fire problems! I’ve been through it all over the last five winters. Definitely get rid of the top loader! I bought one years ago and although it does throw out a huge amount of heat, they are more trouble than they are worth! I hated mine because I couldn’t see when it needed topped up!

    I’m in a very happy place now and heating with aircon! I think it will work out a lot cheaper than wood, but won’t be able to tell you that until I get my electric bills to the end of March. I have a big kamina in the living room which drives a hot air central heating system to the bedrooms, but haven’t had to light it so far with the air conditioning, Every previous winter here I’ve gone through almost 8 tons of wood. but this year so far, from early October until now, maybe a quarter of a ton lighting my lovely little glass fronted fire downstairs, which sends loads of heat upstairs to the kitchen and bathroom. That, combined with the aircon, leaves a lovely constant temperature of 22. I know you are both fairly new to Bulgaria and I love the wonderful work you have done on your house already. I don’t think for a minute that you would need any advice from me, but look forward to seeing how your house progresses! Just have a serious think before you splash out on heating. I spent nearly 6,000 leva for my h0t air system. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I would have been so much cheaper installing aircon units. They are also cheaper to run than buying wood, but I’m sure you will figure that out for yourselves in time.

    Have a great Christmas and wishing you lots of happiness for 2014

    Jan xxx

    1. andyandmariet

      Hi Jan, I’m glad you enjoyed my blog. Lighting the petchka has become the bane of my life, I seem to permanently got my hand in the fire, so much so that my everyday perfume is now ‘bonfire au de toilet’ haha. Come hell or high water I will master the art, either that or turn my petchka into a plant holder. Anyway thanks for the advice, I’m sure we will eventually work out an easier way of heating our house, that costs less in time and money. Hope you have a lovely Christmas and an even better new year, all the best Marie

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