Friday, 6 November 2009

Time for a roaring fire

After a rainy and recession-dampened Bonfire Night in my neck of the woods, I began to think wistfully of enormous medieval fireplaces, logs cut from the woods by peasants in grubby tunics, the warm glow of a winter fire. Then I thought of a poem about firewood from the 1930s: '..Apple wood will scent your room,/Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom...'

Then I found this picture, February from the Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, which says it all, from the woodcutter in the top right to the fire in the bottom left, blissfully enjoyed by one well-mannered lady in full garb and two pretty unlaced individuals for whom underwear is an optional extra. Ah, the warmth of the open fire....

11 comments:

Kaye Manro said...

I love this picture, Lindsay! I really like medieval fireplaces. Fact is I like anything medieval. Thanks.

Lindsay Townsend said...

I love the whole of the Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry - I find the pictures really beautiful and informative.

Glad you liked it, Kaye!

Chelle Cordero said...

That picture is a pleasure on such a chilly night,

LK Hunsaker said...

Ahh, Lindsay, you have me wishing for a big bonfire now! :-)

Lindsay Townsend said...

Thanks, Chelle! Thanks, LK!

There is something elemental about fire, and comforting. Of course when it goes wrong, that's a very different matter.

Cheryl said...

Hey Lindsay,

I love a big fire on a chilly night. When I was a senior in high school, we had to move from Oklahoma to West Virginia--the winters there are longer and colder. Houses here at that time (in Oklahoma) didn't tend to have fireplaces, but in WV that was a "must." My dad built up a roaring fire so hot that the firebox (metal) inside the walls began to scorch the 2x4's that were next to it. Before we knew it, the smell of fire was all through the house, but was coming from inside the walls. My parents called the fire dept. who came out and tore out the beautiful rock fireplace to be able to get to the source. The firemen told my dad it was lucky that it hadn't burned over to the window where it would get oxygen--if it had, the whole house would've gone up in flames. So now, I love a big roaring fire in our fireplace too, but I use a bit of caution after that experience!
Cheryl

Carol North said...

Underwear optional? No wonder they wore those full skirts and petticoats.

I live in Savannah and don't see roaring fires, unless a house is burning down, so enjoyed the picture and the explanation.

Savanna Kougar said...

Wonderful picture, Lindsay... I so wish I had a way to build a cooking hearth.
I love any kind of fireplace, though. Watching and feeling the flames, there's something magical about it.

Linda Swift said...

This is my first visit to this site, Lindsay. It is very artistic as is your Pink blog.
When it's time to build fires, my husband and I head for our Florida condo but we have a few cozy fires in our Kentucky fireplace before we go. Enjoyed your picture and your blog. Linda

Keena Kincaid said...

Fire is primal, isn't it? Life and death both. I love the book of hours you mentioned. Such details of daily life to be found in the illuminations.

And, really, isn't underwear still optional?

Lindsay Townsend said...

Hi Cheryl - you have to keep an eye on fire, very much so!

Thanks, Carol - I wish I could nip over and pinch some of your sunshine - I'm afraid it's very grey over here at the moment. Glad you enjoyed it.

I agree, Savanna. Fire to me is deeply magical.

Hi Linda! Lovely to see you here and on the pinkie. My hubby appreciated your comments as he also designs both blogs.

Keena - oo la la! Interesting about undies. Books of Hours and picture and manuscript sources are wonderful, I agree - often there is so much to see and to learn from them.