Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Music To Chop Wood By.......

The recent dearth of posts on this blog may have had some of you wondering:

Is he dead?

Health not improved?

Left the country due to tax issues?

Actually, none of the above.......

I have, instead, been chopping wood.

A lot of wood.

Yes, the 15-20 tons purchased through the good auspices of The Cambridge News has well and truly come home to roost.


I have spent the last five days moving said amount from Harston ( a good league hence, my liege, though thankfully nowhere near that tiresome trout St Agnes's fountain....)

I am absolutely completely and utterly banjaxed.

And I still have at least six Vitara-fulls of logs to go.

And that's before firing up the sodding chainsaw......

But that's tomorrows job.

Tonight, The Best Couple On The River favoured me with their presence.

"They came.

They bought beer (lots).

They cooked delicious pasta.

They washed up."

Yes, twas The Lucky Ducks, fresh from their summer sojourn on the canals.

What joy!

Amy has threatened to leave a blog post about the ridiculousness of Pippin's new 'Not-so-Stealth' woodpile.

If she has, read it and weep.

I'm the poor so-and-so who had to move each sodding-great tree-trunk by hand into the back of my poor protesting Suzuki Vitara and then off-load it all at the other end.

The Suzuki may need new shock absorbers for its next MOT.

I'm buggered if I know what I'll need for mine........

Anyway, to the music......

Endeavours such as this, must, perforce, have a sound track.

Now, if you are my age or perhaps a tad older, then the radio station of choice has to be Radio 2.

This is fine for the early morning chopping and sawing:

Chris Evans.

A fine DJ and all-round good bloke.

(And I'm not just saying this because when he and his entourage rocked up at The French House in Soho one evening he tipped me a fiver for serving him a bottle of champagne....I was so surprised I went out to him from behind the bar and uttered the immortal words "Chris, you've forgotten your change"......No-one EVER tipped at The French!!!!!!!)

Then it's Ken Bruce's turn.

I've never had the honour of serving him a drink, but that, apparently, only contributes to my exclusivity........


He plays a fine selection of music and does his best to foreshorten the interminably tiresome "just like to say a few hellos" that follow each contestant in his universally popular 'Popmaster Quiz'.

Which brings me to the execrable Jeremy Vine.

When this poltroon comes on, my radio goes off.

I cannot stand the man.

An irritating, right-wing simpering git with a very over-played line in entirely faux 'sympathy' when required or righteous indignation when that cap seems to fit.

Like Jeremy Clarkson, he should have been strangled at birth.

Anyway, another source of entertainment is required from 12:00 onwards.

The old Vitara is still able to play those old-fashioned CD thingies.

Yes, it doesn't have an i-pod dock (whatever one of those is), but can play tunes, which, even better, the driver gets to choose!!

First choice: Alabama Three, 'La Peste': as low-down no-good gritty as it gets: think broken Jack Daniels bottle ground into fresh tarmac with a Gauloise cigarette butt.

Depressing after a while... ( The accursed Vine's show is a whole two hours.....)

So how about something a little lighter?

You were expecting me to say 'The Mike Flowers Pops', weren't you?

Oh no no no.

Nothing so bleedin' obvious.

For music to do any task by ( much less fetch and carry, chop and otherwise muck about with unfeasably large quantities of timber), I have only the following recommendation:

Pink Martini: 'Splendour In The Grass'.

Buy it, download it, borrow it, steal it.......

Do whatever you have to do, but listen to it.

It's for your own good!!!!!!

Monday, 8 August 2011


I should have known better.

Really I should.......

But there you go...

Well, here's how it all happened.

As regular readers of this blog will know, we have an ample supply of cut and split logs for our woodburner. Current estimates put this supply at approximately three tons. It is all carefully hidden in what I refer to as The Stealth Woodpile (because it cannot be seen from the public footpath and therefore doesn't constitute an eyesore).

The other boats on the mooring have wood storage boxes made out of old pallets. Each probably holds about 1/2 to 3/4s of a ton.

Today we solved our (and very likely everyone else's) fuel needs for this winter and probably next winter too.

Here's how:

I am back at the Hole Making Shop after my time off sick. I was leafing through The Cambridge News small ads at lunch time when I saw this:

"Timber approx. 15-20 tons of sycamore cord wood, split and burns like ash. Includes 30" chainsaw, still boxed. Offers."

I texted the ad with the relevant phone numbers to Jackie.

I was expecting a textual version of 'That Look' in reply.

After all, we had just spent Saturday morning and £60-odd quid on two knackered rod-braked Raleigh bikes whilst visiting Mum and Dad in Bournemouth.... (Look,....off sick....bored.....ebay.....you know how it goes.....)

But No.......

Oh dear me no.....

Oh no no no no no....

I checked my phone at second break (circa 4.00pm).

Reply from Jackie:

"Done! Pick-up this w/e....we need Rhoda's van."

So now we own 20 tons of sycamore wood and a large chainsaw.

That's another fine mess I got me into.........