Sunday, February 21, 2010

Next year's moustache

My trusty handsaw is a bit like a Gurkha's Kukri, in that once I take it out I never put it away without having drawn blood! In the case of the Gurkha of course it has to do with tradition and bravery whereas in my case it has to do with incompetence.

Today's very small wound was obtained whilst sawing logs. When we were last out on the Slough arm, BW's contractors were cutting down ash trees growing along the bank (please excuse the blurred photo, I was trying to steer a boat at the same time!) and in answer to a polite request from me they said I could take as many logs as I liked. Well you don't turn down ash logs. They are supposed to be the best of all for burning, so I took a dozen or so four foot logs of about 3 to 6 inch diameter.

Sawing them up this weekend has produced over a hundred short logs for the boat stove, but they are quite sappy and very heavy so into the shed they go to dry out for use next winter. I think I might weigh one and mark it, then weigh it again in the autumn to see how much water it has lost.

One day this weary winter will be gone
But won't be fooled it won't be gone for good
It will be back to freeze next year's moustache
Blowing snow as every winter should

Loudon Wainwright III


Anonymous said...

I've been looking all over for this poem (written by 'Anon' - finally found it - more relevant here as Indigo Dream doesn't have a stove....


Logs to burn, logs to burn,
Logs to save the coal a turn
Here's a word to make you wise,
When you hear the woodman's cries.
Never heed his usual tale,
That he has good logs for sale,
But read these lines and really learn,
the proper kind of logs to burn.

OAK logs will warm you well,
If they're old and dry.
LARCH logs of pine wood smell,
But the sparks will fly.
BEECH logs for Christmas time,
YEW logs heat well.
SCOTCH logs it is a crime,
For anyone to sell.

BIRCH logs will burn too fast,
CHESTNUT scarce at all
HAWTHORN logs are good to last,
If you cut them in the fall
HOLLY logs will burn like wax
You should burn them green
ELM logs like smouldering flax
No flame to be seen

PEAR logs and APPLE logs,
they will scent your room.
CHERRY logs across the dogs,
Smell like flowers in bloom
But ASH logs, all smooth and grey,
burn them green or old;
Buy up all that come your way,
They're worth their weight in gold.

ps. this may come through twice - sorry!

Sue, Indigo Dream

Simon said...

I'm afraid I made off with most of the thinner ones... ;-)

Halfie said...

I'd be interested in your weight loss experiment, Neil. Your log's weight loss, that is, of course. Do it! You could weigh it on the same day every month and produce a graph of weight against time .... (!)

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