Ok the title might be misleading because it makes it sounds like I’m going to tell you how to create your own fire pit out of basic household items al la Blue Peter and that’s not quite the case, but bear with me, I’m am about to tell you how you can create a very pleasant lockdown evening with merely and old BBQ and a screwdriver. Because we all have those lying around!
Last summer we probably had more BBQs that we’d ever had in our lives combined. Partly because of the glorious weather we were blessed with, particularly in May and June, and partly, well, mostly because of the old Panny D and not being able to go anywhere other than the parameters of own own dwelling. Problem is, you can’t really BBQ once the weather gets colder can you? Can you? Well I’m here to tell you, yes you can, and BBQ in the winter we have.
Essentially, Dave took the legs off the BBQ and moved it to the patio to be slightly closer to the house, and lobbed a load of wood from old furniture he’d also demolished, also in lockdown, and a firepit was born, albeit a boujie firepit, but a firepit none the less. The first night which seemed fitting to test out our new toy, was bon fire night.
Thankfully, the weather gods were shining down on us and it was clear and dry, the optimum weather for fire pitting. We baked potatoes, toasted marshmallows (i highly recommend the gourmet marshmallows from Marsh Loves Mallow), and drank way too much red wine (keeps you warm you see) and sat outside by the fire listening to 80s music (at a low level, cos everybody needs good neighbours) and putting the world to rights. I even ended up burning an old notebook from the very beginning of lockdown that was essentially full of people’s cyphers and equipment they needed at home – wasn’t sad to see the back of that!
We wanted to do the same for New Years even since we’d been plunged into Tier 4 only 24 hours previously and wanted something different to do, but it was raining, nay, sleeting all night, so we just got a take away and stayed in the warm drinking champagne instead.
Then of course old Bozza said we all needed to stay at home again on 3rd January which meant two more opportunities for some fire pit action; Valentines Day and Dave’s birthday (yesterday). So we took advantage of a relatively mild night and celebrated poor Davy’s 2nd lockdown birthday in the garden pretending we were in New Zealand.
There are certain downsides when you create your own fire pit of course; if you’re burning wood for that authentic crackle, your clothes/hair absolutely stink. I woke up the next morning thinking I’d been clubbing in the 90s. When it’s 3 degrees outside, and you’re full of red wine, you forget that the fire is only warming up the front of you. My bum cheeks took about 3 months to thaw out. It also does encourage you to drink a lot of red wine to ‘keep warm’. That could just be me though…