On this trip, we have concentrated mainly on refilling the wood supply, not working on the house or garden, we have also in the past week, an extra week which we had not anticipated and I was extremely grateful for, we have ventured out visiting places nearby in the car and exploring our surroundings. In the summer months, we have not done this much as our time is better spent working here.
Being surrounded by woodland, we would not have thought that we could run out. But unfortunately, the woodshed was cleared by thieves whilst we were away and we had to scout for wood, some of our neighbours and new friends have really helped us out, in return, they have some wood which once cured, will be usable. There is plenty around here, except that it is not dry enough to burn or cut in most cases.
One of our new friends who hauled the Bears, both big and small out of a ditch two years ago when they had been run off the road. Has become a friend who is currently stood out the back chopping wood so that we will have a supply again when we return. He has been an absolute godsend to us, since our large logs were too big for me to manage with the small chainsaw, I had no hope of splitting them. I learned to use the chainsaw, having bought all the kit, for safety I was finally allowed to give it a go, only to find that the saw had been wrongly assembled and the chain was totally blunt, which is why it was a complete nightmare. Our friend serviced it for me and I was then able to use it and spent a happy day cutting up logs which was very satisfying.
We also hauled some trees down and put them in the woodshed to cut next time. Give it another chance, hope that they won’t get it in again and that it will still be there next time we return.
The wood pile is now awesome with our combined efforts and in return he will also have wood for the winter. It has been pointed out to us on this trip, that wood is such a valuable commodity and should not be given away lightly. We have been told that the price of firewood when you have to buy it is £100 per tonne. If you leave it laying about, people will make the journey just to take it, thankfully our cottage is not easy to get to, but nevertheless, we are not immune.
One thing we are still torn on is whether we should bring the log burner with us next time to install. It would really keep us warm here, but I guess it depends on my partner’s health and whether we have a horsebox in which to transport it. It probably weighs 20 stone, definitely takes two very strong people to lift it, but would be absolutely wonderful in the living room here. We were talking of furniture this trip, and he almost weakened to a sofa for the lounge, but we really need to fix the roof first. A leaky roof is more important. But I am working on ways to fix that.
Today we got some boards, the guys on a local building site gave them to us, little do they know that we could probably fix the main part of the roof with those, if only I could get up there with the ladders!
We have been given pallets, offered wood offcuts and people have also offered to deliver what we need to us quite often free of charge. The generosity of spirit has often caught us by surprise and right when we least expected it has renewed our faith in humanity.
We have been blessed with the kindness of people around us. Whilst others’ may seek to take advantage and have their own agendas’ if we can keep them at bay, then we will get on here just fine. We are choosing our friends more carefully now, rather than my old approach of taking people at face value until they do you a wrong. We have learned to tread a little more carefully here in Scotland, it is easy to get your wires crossed and an English sense of humour is often misunderstood but generally we have found that if you are good to people, then they are good to you.