We are surrounded by oak and chestnut woods and stacks of felled timber are everywhere, waiting for the massive lorries to come along and take the wood to the wholesalers. However, buying a small amount of wood locally for our wood burner is a not as easy as you would think. Once upon a time a local farmer would sell us a few stères (cubic metre); he would load the wood onto his trailer, fire up his tractor and deliver it straight into our courtyard, helping Paul to stack it neatly. Then his supply of wood ran out.
Paul asked our neighbour Philippe if he would sell us some of his wood. Mais non, he needed all the wood for himself but his cousins had some seasoned chestnut for sale. One evening Paul and Philippe set off to the other side of town to arrange the transaction. Several hours later Paul returned home with a distinct flush to his face. The meeting with the cousins had clearly involved a lot of pastis. They had then visited the wood stack, inspected and carefully measured four stères and then marked it with bright yellow paint. The following day we hitched the trailer to the car and went to collect the wood. It took four trips and lots of log chucking. Never again I said.
That load of wood has lasted almost four years as we only usually have the wood burner running during April and May. This year was unseasonably cold and we burnt more than usual. Time to stock up with more wood.
This afternoon we had four stères of chestnut delivered. A massive shiny red truck slowly made its way down our narrow lane, gingerly easing its way past Monique's house, before neatly depositing a huge pile of logs onto the grass. Paul will cut the logs to size and stack them in the grange. I will supply refreshments.
|a big lorry negotiating the narrow lane|
|shiny red lorry parked on my 'lawn'|
|unloading logs the easy way|
|Paul and Diane inspecting the log pile|