From my brother in Scotland, via his column on the Horse & Country blog:
It is frightening how quickly summer turns to autumn, and the light evenings start to draw in. The birch trees have already started to turn yellow and the weather has turned noticeably cooler. We try not to turn our central heating on until November but we have started to light a fire in the evening. We burn all our own wood and mostly birch that is in plentiful supply and smells wonderful when burning. I am looking into the viability of a wood chip boiler, with oil prices continuing to rise and the fact that we have a large amount of our own wood, I am hoping it will prove a useful alternative.