Package Three young males

- see sales page

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A new (b)logger

What better way to burn off the Christmas excesses than a day's graft in the fresh air ? Aided and abetted by my two helpful sons keen to leave aside their new I-pods and phones and be 'at one' with mother nature....
Actually, it wasn't quite like that.
Josh, 'the elder' who lives and works in Mexico is spending Christmas with us this year is not really the physical type, whose idea of heavy lifting is two pens at the same time.!
Jake 'the younger' normally doesn't do anything he can't reach from the end of his bed, so a bit of shock was in store.
The job was done though, and the logs were all moved to an accessible point yesterday.
Today we all have aching backs and shoulders but a satisfying sense of acheivement. (or is that just me?)

Josh wanted to write the blog today. So here is his account:

It’s been a tough year. After having spent most of my waking hours explaining subjunctives, conditionals, and subordinate clauses – with varying degrees of success – I decided to reward myself with what I thought would be a well-deserved, relaxing winter break with family in the heart of Brittany, with the promise of being able to relax for a couple of weeks and, well, the tranquillity might even help clear my mind. Chicken soup for the soul.

It turns out I was wrong. Yesterday I was assigned the task of “chucking logs across a forest” as my father so accurately put it. He had recently cut up a couple of trees that had fallen down in a nearby forest for firewood in a few winters’ time. He would normally get the tractor in and move them all back to the house that way, but, as sod’s law would have it, the trees that fell down were at the bottom of a valley, making access impossible with a tractor, and the logs lay at the bottom of a 10-metre slope.

All alternatives having been considered, and subsequently ruled out, the only solution was to throw the logs up the slope by way of a human chain: my brother, my father and myself. I’m not sure how much logging experience any of you have, but I soon discovered that two trees – one oak and one chestnut – give you one hell of a lot of wood. Obviously, I didn’t count the damned things, but there must have been in excess of 1,000 logs. Add to that the fact that these were logs that had been soaked by three weeks’ rainwater, making them much heavier – about two tons.

The whole job took us about seven hours, with a half-hour lunch break. Somewhat ingenuously, I offered to position myself at the bottom of the chain. This was for the psychological motivation of seeing the pile of logs go down bit by bit, but also, admittedly, to avoid myself the embarrassment of not being able to catch the wood. However, I had failed to realise that this would mean picking them all up instead of just catching them, which is without a doubt more strenuous on the back. I also discovered that for every log you took off the pile, ten more appeared underneath, so it was psychological torture.

So, for all those of you who are wondering what I’m getting up to in France, and possibly thinking ‘That lucky git gets a nice holiday in Europe while I’m stuck here eating tacos… again!’, well, I hope this post has answered your queries, and given you something to smirk about. Maybe it has even taken your mind off the stress caused by the relentless crashing waves on the Ensenada beach and the endless carne asada tacos and buñuelos. Rest assured I am still busy working, this time in the freezing cold and incessant rain, on my two-week lumberjack apprenticeship courtesy of Quelvehin Alpagas and Dead Oak Trees Co.

Oh, and guacamole just isn’t the same with French avocados… and it doesn’t go very well on crêpes.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Josh, only half an hour for lunch...we're in France so it should be at least 2 hours! No wonder your trips to Brittany are infrequent!!

    Don't complain about the rain's making alpaca food!

    Happy New Year to all at Quelvehin, see you early next year!