Winterizing in Daglan

Sometimes we are like the industrious ant, storing food and preparing for the season to come. Other times (possibly too often) we are like the happy-go-lucky grasshopper, who lives for fun.

And now is the time to act like ants, because all our friends in the village have made it clear that Daglan winters can be chilling events — while we get hardly any snow, the winters can be cold and long. So it’s time to get prepared, and get the old heating system ready to go. (We use a large poele, or firebox, but we also have electric heaters mounted on the wall in each room.) First step? Bring on Eddie, the chimneysweep.

What a production! Who knew? First he had to dismantle the duct leading up into the chimney, then enclose the whole fireplace in plastic, then put on a protective suit, and then get under the plastic cover and vacuum, scrub, and sweep until the whole system was spotless. (Okay, probably not spotless, but pretty clean as fireplaces and chimneys go.) And here is Eddie in action:

Chimney sweep in action

Eddie the chimneysweep and his soot suit

Next, it’s time for the delivery of firewood. Last week I had driven up into the hills above St Pompon, the village south of Daglan, and negotiated the delivery of two cubic metres of firewood, cut to 40 centimetres in length. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what I ordered.

And sure enough, on Thursday afternoon a huge tractor thundered down our little street with a trailer full of logs, and dumped them in front of our garage. Like this:

Dumping firewood in Daglan

Down come the logs

And when M. Montauban (the firewood man) pulled away with his tractor and trailer, we were left with this pile to move into our garage:

Stack of logs in front of garage

Our two cubic metres of firewood

Now the big question is: Will this be enough for the winter? Who knows? It depends (obviously) on how long and how cold this winter will be, and how well the logs burn. We shall see. But meanwhile, I think we did a very nice job of stacking the little buggers. Don’t you?

Firewood stacked in garage

Ready to be hauled upstairs to the fireplace

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