Heating in New Zealand is a mysterious thing. Well as mysterious as gathering warmth from an actual fire can be. Our friends in Gisborne have blogged extensively on the heating styles of New Zealand.  Basically this very modern country is very sentimental about the old ways of doing things. Plus there are some folks don’t want to be dependent on utilities. Stubborn Kiwi’s.  The place we are house sitting is well set up by national standards. We have a wood-fired stove that is connected to a system of radiators throughout the house. This stove also provides the hot in hot water. Sweet as. The goal is to keep the stove burning through the night. We’ve had some chilly mornings but not too bad.

Now comes the tricky part. Our sweet digs also have a huge fireplace in a big old den. Now remember it is winter here and even cynical Steve and Jill can’t resist the allure of cuddling up in front of a big fire.

But doh! As I write this post on our five year wedding anniversary, Steve has made a valiant attempt at getting the fireplace going. He has completely smoked out the den and most of the downstairs is hazy. Luckily it is a big house with lots of doors. There is a catch in all this. It isn’t that my city boy hubby can’t build a fire. Under normal circumstances he might struggle a bit but eventually there is fire. One problem is a leaky woodshed. We’ve had lots of rain. This equals lots of steamy smoke. Another challenge is that in epic Kiwi fashion the fireplace has no damper. There is no way to close it off. So any wood that is left sitting in the fireplace between fires becomes quite damp.  So you can see we have a few things against us and cozy winter fires.

Mystery solved for tonight. He has the fire going now. Our fan, a summer left over, has cleared out the den. Red beans and rice are ready and waiting along with a selection of NZ micro brews.

Not bad, eh?


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