Tenersi Caldi Posted by Serena on Oct 27, 2010 in Uncategorized
With the onset of winter we begin, once again, the daily ritual of il caminetto (the fireplace).
Sometimes, I can’t help but think back with nostalgia to the time when Geoff and I lived in Nottingham, England. The nostalgia, though, is not for Nottingham, but for our lovely gas central heating which switched itself on and made the house nice and cozy before we got out of bed in the morning.
Bei tempi andati! (the good old days!) Our move of 1,200 miles from Nottingham to Lunigiana in Tuscany has also turned out to be, in some respects, a journey back in time of 100 years. Here, at 500 meters altitude, in the foothills of the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, with il vento gelido (the freezing wind) swirling around the house, bisogna tenersi caldi col caminetto a legna (one has to keep oneself warm with the wood fire).
Il rito giornaliero: (The daily ritual)
1. pulire il caminetto (1. clean the fireplace)
The first thing to do is to scrape out la cenere (the ash). This I do with una paletta (a small hand shovel). La cenere falls through la griglia (the grating) into il cassetto della cenere (the ash pan).
Next I clean the glass doors that enclose the fire. Pulisco il vetro con uno straccio umido e un po’ di cenere (I clean the glass with a damp rag and a bit of ash). Yes, you can buy any number of expensive cleaning products for the fire glass, but you can’t beat the good old ash method, which requires a little elbow grease, but is free, and 100% environmentally friendly! To polish up the glass nicely, I use another magic product: un foglio di giornale accartocciato (a screwed up sheet of newspaper).
2. preperare il caminetto (prepare the fire)
Il giornale accartocciato goes onto the fire grate, and is covered by una piccola catasta di bastoncini (a small stack of sticks) in the traditional tepee form.
3. accendere il caminetto (light the fire)
Apro il tiraggio, accendo un fiammifero, e do fuoco alla carta (I open the air vent, strike a match and light the paper). N.B. ‘dare fuoco a’ = ‘to light’ / ‘to set fire to’.
Once the flames have taken hold of the bastoncini I put on a few small ciocchi di legna (logs). N.B. legna (fem.) = firewood, legno (masc.) = wood for carpentry, joinery etc.
4. godersi il caldo (enjoy the heat)
A few useful words:
|il caminetto||the fireplace|
|il camino||the chimney|
|il comignolo||the chimney pot / stack|
|la fuliggine||the soot|
|il fumo||the smoke|
|le fiamme||the flames|
|le braci||the embers|
Caso mai (by the way), the residual ash made by the fire can be spread on the orto (vegetable patch) as it makes an excellent concime (fertilizer)!
Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.