This was the first year we seriously considered buying an electrical appliance to keep us warm. We weren’t alone in this quest since the hundreds of a model we liked a couple of months ago are now sold out. We returned home empty-handed. I categorically refused to buy one of those shinning objects mimicking a real fire. Besides, it would be nonsense when we have a real stone fireplace in our living area.
I still remember the fireplaces of my childhood: a much younger version of Seabell standing on her flannel pyjamas, fresh from bed, completely fascinated by the warmth of a morning fire. In a certain way, finding a house with a fireplace was like fastening two loose ends of my life: the European and the African.
And if by now you are asking why on earth we aren’t making good use of our stone fireplace, I have this reasonable explanation to give: bats. I had to close the chimney due to daily invasions of those uninvited visitors coming from neighbouring trees and roofs. Wouldn’t you do the same?