Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Put the kettle on!

A kettle boiling on an open fireOn my own, working in the woods, I’ll have a Thermos of tea with me and drink it through the day, even down to the cool, tarry brew that lurks there around 3.30. If Jane’s with me, we’ll boil the Kelly kettle frequently, there being a slight competition for the duty of firing it up; it’s essential and enjoyable and it gets you away from work a few minutes earlier than would otherwise be the case.

If there’s a larger group than the Kelly kettle can cater for (four or even three if anyone else drinks tea in quantity), the proper kettle is dusted off. It’s an Ebay treasure, an icon of outdoor life and woodland work. It makes a lovely cup of tea, but the additional joy it brings is the need for a fire. It would be crazy to light a fire every time tea is needed, so a fire must be kept burning throughout the day. Marvelous.

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