I'll admit it, when I was young and daft there was a time when I would have happily burned driftwood, not only on the beach watching the sun go down, but in my open fire at home as well. Free fuel, what could be better? Well, just about anything else actually. It might look great with its smooth sun-bleached and apparently bone dry, bark-free surfaces but I'm pleased to tell you that I know much better now. I'm definitely done with it, so let me explain why you should avoid it if you haven't already.
Road-testing Traeger Grills at The Stove Yard this Saturday
It's one of the nice things about working at The Stove Yard – when the weather starts getting better we get to thinking about cooking outdoors and to start planning our famous demonstrations on the barbecues and grills we sell. We're all big fans of cooking outdoors so our regular Saturday morning demos are no real hardship for us and of course, along with our customers, we also get to tuck into whatever we've rustled up...
If Lockdown has proved anything it's that we've been really missing our family and friends. Now we can all look forward to meeting up with them again. Many of us though will naturally be reluctant to mingle with the crowds in the beer gardens, cafes and restaurants – even if we could get in. Instead we'll settle for our gardens, patios and back yards for our grand reunions. Settle? You can't help thinking it's a bit like sending kids to their bedrooms as punishment, it's no longer the hardship it once was – and so it is with our own outdoor spaces.
It's brilliantly different and just what every stylish garden or patio needs. Those clever Danes at Hwam have done it again with their beautifully designed and co-ordinated outdoor stoves, fire pits, modular log stores and planters which have all been constructed from premium corten steel sheet. That's the trendy metal that looks like it's already weathered bright orange with rust, but in actual fact isn't.
At the end of March and in the midst of shutdown we were delighted to see our vacant showroom in Kiltonga have a spark of life back in it. Our Friends from Hellbent tackled the opportunity to use our showroom kitchen to film and photograph some of their wonderful new products.
In many ways the new normal could be better than the old one.
Even though we'll all be trying hard to get back to normal many of us will probably play it safe and avoid the crowds. Instead we'll be looking forward to rubbing shoulders with friends and family at home. How we've missed them. Entertaining in the garden when the weather's better is therefore set to become the new normal.