Enthusiastic Woodsmanship, Or when enthusiasm outweighs experience…

(written the other week) A few hours ago my partner went out in the truck to get it looked at. It struggled to start. Conked out again and then he tumbled off down the hill in it. I thought that whilst he was out to keep my mind occupied I would do something useful.I put away slot of things and did the daily chores. Tidied up and put things away again. Everything gets dusty in this house, the slightest movement brings down dust and debris so it is an ongoing mission to keep things clean.
After the chores I got the chainsaw out since we always need wood and we had carried a lot of it down to where we cut it up. So I thought that I would make a dent in the pile. 

I have been cutting for an hour and a half. It’s a small chainsaw so is limited as to its use, however I can manage it. I cut and cut, the dog safely indoors out of the way.

I hauled the branches and logs from behind the shed doors where we had been storing them out of the rain. After an hour or so, I thought I’ll just do a little bit more. 

The pile I had cut growing rapidly. I hauled a branch out which was bring stubborn as I am and did the first somersault that I can ever remember. Straight over my log pile, I rolled on a few of them on the way down and winded myself, laughing at the silliness of it. I must have looked ridiculous. After thinking that was lucky that I didn’t hit my head. I’m sure the hard hat that I was wearing was a good idea.

Shaking myself off, I cut the last few branches. 

I have now hauled them into the woodshed and stacked them neatly in a new pile. We work our way through each one but these may take a little while to air.

Well. At least I have a different reason for the painkillers tonight. Somehow it feels as though I have earned them instead of taking them for annoying pain which doesn’t go away instead.

It may not look much to those of you who are used to this kind of work on a regular basis. But at least I have made some preparations and in time with more hours spent doing the same (without the tumble) it will mean that he doesn’t have to. I will sleep well tonight knowing that I have not sat on my backside wondering what to do next. 

I feel a small accomplishment of my own today. 

And I know that the muscles ached the next day. Craving a bath when there was not one available. 

Natures Way


As you hear the wind through the trees,
Sounds on the ear to entice and tease.
Natures bounty there in the wood,
Planted here for the great and the good.
Will share its branches and bend its bough,
Save some for later, not all needed now.
Leave some behind, to heal and regroup,
Let nature keep you in the loop.
Berries and fruits, there to behold.
What was once a garden of old
And one day, will be so again,
If you take care and do not drain.
The resources it’s happy to share.
While you clamber among it there.

Friends old and New and Faith Restored

26/10/16

img_3123On 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.

The Daily Post – Transformation