There is a little copse at the bottom of the hill that has been my saviour these past few months. No bigger than a Wetherspoons pub, it has provided me with enough wood for both heating and cooking. As well as a source of constant entertainment for the local farmers who have watched me mercilessly drag huge broken boughs of oak and ash up the steep grassy bank to the barn. A city boy trying to plough the earth with sticks. They’ll miss me when I’ve gone.
It’s a dangerous place though. The trees are ill-rooted to the soft clayey soil and on occasions I’ve been able to push them over with just a finger. So it’s not the place to be in a strong gale. Unless you’re into suicide.
I generally go down there when it’s still, pick up what I need and haul it back to the barn for cutting. First with the bandsaw, then with the axe. There are two chainsaws here, but I’d rather get crushed by a falling tree than sever my arteries with a misplaced slice. Remembering that I’m in the middle of nowhere. Plus, they’re too loud and I hate loud mechanical noise.
Ever listened to a new-build housing estate on a Sunday morning. I have. Row upon row of idiots dressed in shellsuits mowing their tiny patch of grass with a 2cc Flymo because they have nothing else to do with their stupid little lives. And people worry about massacres. Mmm…
But I digress.
The copse has kept me going this winter. A welcome replacement to the pub – my usual winter distraction. Plus it’s increased my stamina on my runs. Breaking all known records recently for the circuit I wrote about in Blogley 122.
Simple things make a great difference and it’s amazing how quickly the winter has flown by. In fact, before I know it, it’ll be spring and lovely and warm. Shit! Then what will I do…