At this time of year, each morning starts with a routine: down-stairs, let Jack and Charlie out, switch on kettle, give Jack a treat – one of those chewy thingies – clear out, relay and relight the wood-burning stove that powers the central heating. We keep a stash of logs and a handful of kindling out on the porch, so this takes only ten minutes or so by which time the water is boiling and tea (for J) and hot choc (for me) can be prepared and slurped down with fruit juice in comfort as the house warms up. The cats, of course, demand nosh, too – especially Rocky. Charlie prefers to nip out with Jack for his morning mouse/lemming/feathered treat search before returning home/hem for breakfast/frukost.
Luckily, we have no shortage of wood in the woodstore to keep the hem fires burning for a few more years:
And the saw to rip through the stuff, a 3-phase Norwegian bit of kit: much easier, and safer (I feel) than a Chainsaw/motorsåg:
Of course, this stuff pales into insignificance against the kind of kit favoured by serious woodsmen hereabouts. These machines, chop, lop and move entire trees in a matter of minutes and are genuinely formidable to observe in action:
I must get out and chop some logs later to keep the warmth running indoors. We don’t keep the stove alight overnight because the house simply becomes too warm, too uncomfortable. ‘Tis easier to let it wind down each evening and start afresh next day.
So far there’s been no sign of ‘our’ red squirrel. He’s a real character, territorial and feisty, and will do almost anything to get at the birdfeed. He must still be in hibernation otherwise I’m sure he’d be about by now:
We had a light sprinkling of snow again overnight. Sparkly, sugery-stuff of no depth and little substance. It will be gone again by lunchtime, I’m sure. At 08:00 this morning it was minus five with sunshine and some light, wispy cloud at altitude.
J sent me a text message from the airport last night confirming the journey had been straight-forward, with no problems up til that point. I tried texting her back but she has taken my (Spanish) mobile and left me hers, with God-damn predictive text, which I loathe. I couldn’t figure out how to change options so sent her gobbledygook in reply.