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Logistics Issue No 2 at the Greek Hovel – Smoking Myself Out but feeling Macho

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 25 November 2014

In my last days at the Greek Hovel this summer I showed unusual foresight in pondering how I would keep warm on my return for the Olive harvest. Hence I gathered firewood, stored it in the rat room and surrounded it with sulphur to ensure that no snakes viewed it as a des res winter home. And thus on my first night back I lit a fire.

Fire lighting is a macho sort of thing and I am pretty proud of my ability to get a good blaze going with just a couple of pieces of paper. Firelighters are for jessies.  And so within minutes I had a roaring blaze going. And about two minutes later the room was filled with smoke. Perhaps there was some trick I had missed?

I fiddled with two bricks that cover little holes in the fireplace but to no avail. The smoke was by now overpowering and so I had to open all windows and the door. I am not so worried about the wildlife entering – why on earth would they rush into a smoke filled building. It was the cold. The Greek Hovel is in the foothills of the mountains and while it is shirt-sleeves hot in the morning and until about three it then start to get very cold indeed. I reckon that we are not that far above zero every night.

As such my first night was a cold one. As the fire died out the smoke gradually cleared and I shivered fully clothed underneath my quilt.

In the morning I resolved to ignore my chronic vertigo and to clamber onto the flat roof to investigate. I did not exactly show Tarzan like grace but I made it and removed the tiles that someone had put on top of the chimney, presumably to keep out the wildlife diversity. If I felt macho lighting a fire I felt uber-macho after this achievement as I somehow clambered down onto the snake veranda.

And now, as you can see I have a roaring fire every night. My summer store of wood is depleting rapidly but there is plenty lying around and so part of my daily routine is to go and gather fresh stocks for that night’s fire at The Greek Hovel.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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