By: Blonde Two

I think I broke a personal record yesterday by lighting the wood-burner during July.

I had good environmental (and parsimonious) reasons. I had lots of washing to dry and didn’t want to put either the central heating or tumble dryers on. We have a big pile of ‘recycled’ pallet type fire wood at the moment so I decided that drying the washing in front of the wood-burner was a good option (it also allowed me to enjoy a ‘working in front of the fire’ afternoon).

I initially had a few problems finding a lighting mechanism for the stove. I had tampons and hand gel available but it was an initial ignition device that was missing. We had run out of matches and I couldn’t find Mr B2’s magical, light anywhere, petrol lighter.

After a rummage in the camp boxes (which are currently strewn across our top landing) I found my only option, some of those long matches you find in army ration packs.

I have to confess now to having never been in the army. If I had I have no doubt that my previous issues with these super-matches might not have occurred. You see I have never been able to make them ignite. When struck in the usual, sliding manner they don’t light, apparently even if you are sitting on the floor in your lounge.

In a fit of temper over this fact (well it was a fact for me) and after several unsatisfactory attempts, I ended up grinding the end of one match into the little rough striking patch that came with it. It lit immediately and in such splendid style that I burnt my fingers and dropped it onto the hearth. Upon closer examination it turns out that you have to rub a kind of coating away from the end of an army match before you strike it.

Turns out the army (other armed forces are available) know more about fire lighting than I gave them credit for!