I lost my husband. For a whole three hours, I lost my husband. He was right outside the door and I could see him and even speak to him if I wanted to but he was gone. Lost to the manly art of making fire.
I can’t blame him. It’s in his genes I reckon. I try and not build any fires in front of him. When he was working regular shifts, I used to try and either have the fire well established before he got in, or else not have it lit at all for fear he saw the ridiculous attempts I make at lighting fires. I remember when we were dating, visiting his home place and sitting in at the fire watching all the comings and goings. His mother would wander in to the sitting room and tend to the fire, give it a little prod here and a poke there and then throw another stick on to it all while chatting away to me or singing to herself. She wouldn’t even be out the room a whole minute, when my now brother-in-law would hop off of his chair and proceed to set the fire to rights. Then he would disappear off outside to do something or the other. Mr. Fairweather would then step up to the fire, readjust everything until he had it just so before settling back in to his seat. Then his mother would wander back in and ask who had been messing with her fire. And the whole cycle started again.
The other evening, just as I was putting dinner on to the table, Mr. Fairweather hopped out of his seat and announced he had a mad idea and would be back in ten minutes. The next thing I hear the chainsaw going…. A few minutes later he passes by the kitchen window with a huge log on his shoulders. It turns out he has made a Swedish candle. Apparently there is some discussion as to it’s origins as the Finns also lay claim. But generally it is referred to as a Swedish candle or a Swedish torch. There are a couple of variations on it.
Mr. Fairweather chose to cut a cross down through the log almost to the bottom. Alternatively you can cut all the way through, thus splitting the log into four pieces and retie near the bottom with a piece of rope or twine.
With your log standing on its end and the cross cut on top, you start a fire at the centre of the cuts.
Then apparently you get your billy can and heat your water on top of it for your tea and lounge around watching the log burn.
Very important work.
Next time, I am requesting marshmallows.