Having just come inside and battened down the hatches ready for tomorrow’s storm and heavy rain (nothing desperate I must add, just the usual monthly thunderstorms) I thought it perhaps remotely interesting to tell you about my wood passion.
Even though we live in a warm country and heating costs are quite minimal, we still prefer to sit in front of the woordburner during the winter months. There is something very special and cosy about real fire, rather than the dry but warm hum of the central heating system.
Obtaining wood here is not so easy, so I collect and cut my own.
Quite a long drive from home, in the foothills of the Pyrenees near the village of Oliana, (for those google maps freaks) is a large reservoir. The reservoir is remote, surrounded by forests and changes level regularly as the dam gates are opened and closed. Consequently, in the direction of the flowing current when the gates are opened, a large amout of flotsam gathers on the shore in a particular spot. Each year the new wood is deposited along about a kilometer stretch and dries in the sun. It is presented for collection by anyone who is crazy enough to go for it. I have only once seen another person gathering it.
For us it is a day out. A long country drive to the mountains (about 160km), swim in the reservoir (a bit chilly this week), a picnic, a three or four hour walk and finally loading up the Landrover with about a stere of wood.
I spent the last few hours cutting it down and stacking it. What a strong feeling of satisfaction it gives to look at the woodpile ready to keep us warm this year. Is it because it was free? I don’t think so. After all, I did spend petrol, about 6 man hours of effort and a new saw to obtain it. I use the analogy to growing tomatoes. The tomatoes I grow usually work out at about one euro each if I take everything into account, but I still enjoy growing them 🙂