Who the heck is HOOGA?

Our first moveable outdoor fireplace was a beaten up old grass catcher purchased at the recycling depot for just a couple of dollars.

Mounted on a stack of bricks, this simple device kept us warm outdoors during the southern New Zealand winter of 2011.

But it was only 18 inches wide and didn’t have a chimney. So we started thinking about something bigger and better. Calling on some amateur technical drawing skills, a shed load of enthusiasm and a helpful dose of wisdom from a retired chimney sweep, we set about building a serious moveable outdoor fireplace that would endure in the kiwi back yard.
Some people’s gardens are littered with all manner of relics. Ours were soon full of discarded HOOGAs. After quite a few trials and plenty of errors, we finally settled on a design we’re pretty happy with.

Why on earth did we call it a HOOGA?

There’s no brilliant reason for this, but as luck would have it, we stumbled upon a Danish word – ‘hygge’ – pronounced HOOGA. Literally translated, it means ‘cosy’. But as can happen with obscure little foreign words, it has been seized upon to describe a way of living. Perfect, we’ll take it.