We spent last weekend in England, stayed first with my sister, and then with some friends in London, had a great time. I don't know if it's just what you get used to, but British food seems so good. We were only there three days, and we ate a proper English breakfast, and had wonderful Indian, Thai, Pizza, Sunday roast. It was nice to be able to shop on Sunday and bank holiday Monday too, we bought lots of little goodies you can't get here.
A gift from our London friends: a paper recycler, you use it to make little cylinders of combustible waste for your log fire, using newspapers, etc.
On the left, the old paper recycler. I've had it for ages, but only used it once because you have to wet the newspaper, mash it up and then put it into this block to compress it. You then have to dry out the paper brick thus created, which means it has to be stored somewhere warm for a while. On the right, the new one, basically a hollow cylinder (green) and a tamper (gold).
First, you make a cylinder out of a few sheets of the old newspaper, by wrapping it around the green tube, using the guide line as marked.
Then you tuck the overlapping end of the paper into the tube. You now have an empty paper cylinder, closed at one end, that is formed around the green metal one.
Then you fill the cylinder with combustible material, pretty much anything sensible will do. I used old paper. That old firework that failed to light would probably be a bad choice, as would petrol-soaked rags. It would also probably be a good idea to dispose of any old sulphur, charcoal and saltpetre that you have lying around, separately.
Tamp them all down until you get to the max fill marker on the tamper.
Release the green cylinder by pushing in with the tamper and pulling on the cylinder.
Then tuck the remaining end of the tube in, and you have a neat little cylider of combustible material for lighting the fire. You don't even have to wait for it to dry.