Did I mention the mini-axe? Or the chain-saw? Both are 'must have' accessories if you have a log fire. Last Christmas, The Man gave me a small axe that he had thoughtfully gift-wrapped and tied with ribbon. I promptly gave it back saying that I thought it was too unlucky/scary to have in the house. The (devious) truth was that I had absolutely no intention of chopping up logs and was planning to get him to do it for me.
Now I'm (almost) regretting it, since most of the logs left in the wood pile are too big too burn and he is in the UK until Tuesday. Some other truths about real fires:
1 They dry out your skin and suck every last drop of moisture from the air - unless you leave little bowls of water everywhere.
2 The wood supply always runs out at the worst possible moment - and pulling logs off the wood pile on a freezing cold night is about as much fun as flu.
3 Unless you can find the 'eco' wood-chip variety, fire-lighters (ie the paraffin ones) release a noxious cocktail of chemicals into your sitting room.
4 You will end up with sooty finger prints all over your furniture and favourite piece of clothing.
5 Once the fire is lit you will find every excuse possible not to leave the house, thus running the risk of becoming morbidly obese.
Et voila. But still worth all the effort and mess - especially on a cold Sunday afternoon.