Alison sympathised and advised how to handle wood-burning stove

Alison sympathised and advised how to handle wood-burning stove



Day 5


Success! I don’t know why I wasn’t posting this first thing this morning… hang on, yes I do, I was snugly tucked up in my yurt and managed to sleep until 9.30am. Eat your hats cynics of mine.


So what did I do differently? Well, let’s be honest, none of it was rocket science, but it did take the sage advice of a year-round yurter to make my outdoor home more habitable. Enter Alison, who lives at the Cherry Wood Project in Bath and was kind enough to have a look at my humble abode yesterday afternoon.


Firstly, may I just say, I felt entirely vindicated by her astonishment that my yurt did not have insulation. “This is a summer camping yurt,” she exclaimed, “you’d be freezing at this time of year.”

“I was,” said I, “trust me I was.”

She also thought the fire rather small and the lack of ventilation a problem, “This is not good for you at all.” she tutted. Hallelujah, finally some sympathy and understanding.


So I asked her what I could do to make the best of a bad situation, obviously painting Nick as a Draconian boss in the process: she didn’t need to know that I had crawled into the house early Monday morning and refused to return to the yurt ever since.


Shockingly, her first piece of advice was to leave the door slightly ajar, “Are you mad?” I thought. But apparently not, the fire needs to draw oxygen in to keep it roaring and this also stops the yurt from becoming unbearably smokey.


Alison also suggested starting the fire much earlier in the day and keeping it burning throughout the evening. It seems I had not been tending my stove with the required dedication.


And I must admit, what a difference these small and seemingly innocuous measures made. While I would not say I was as comfortable as I would be indoors, and keeping in mind that I was wearing multiple layers again (although thankfully the hat and gloves were dropped), I did manage to sleep right through the night and upon waking at 7.20am thought it best to sleep for a couple more hours just to drive the point home to Nick and co. Late for work, my foot.


It makes me proud that I managed it but I don’t think I’ll be investing in a yurt (almost £3000 for a model like the one I’m staying in) any time soon.