This winter was the first time we’ve been in the Gers and stayed at Magnol. The south of France is cold in winter. It can even snow. There’s no central heating and the thick stone walls of the old house get really cold. The wood burning stove we installed is thankfully pretty big. It’s a focal point of our stays during the colder months and we couldn’t stay there without it. The truth is I’ve become a little obsessed with it.
In the autumn we had two trees felled, one had been struck by lightning and both were dead. The Bûcheron who did the job cut them into logs. Four large logs are now stools around a barrel in the courtyard. I’m gradually burning the rest.
On recent visits, it’s been a morning ritual to throw on jeans, a thick jumper and some boots and forage for some logs of the rights size in the home of warming up the room before Keri gets up. There’s something incredibly satisfying about harvesting the land to create heat. I’m running out of smaller logs but there is still a lot of wood. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve invested in an electric wood splitter by next winter. According to Keri, I’m too clumsy to own a chain saw.