Saturday, 9 February 2019
Too lazy to split
As I mentioned last year, the summer England won the World Cup (July 1966) I was living in Haslemere and had just turned 12. My father was a year from retirement from the navy and had yet to buy a house, so we were renting a 4 bedroom Edwardian mini-mansion with gardens back and front and a shed right at the bottom of the property where the shade of trees from the neighbouring woodlot made a lawn impractical. The rental agreement included a wide variety of garden tools including a handy axe with enough weight to split logs, so long as they weren't too knotty. I loved that axe. There was a large pile of damp lumber between shed and fence and I worked my way through it, getting more like
Charles Bronson . . . a zen master with each outdoors day. With each passing week that summer, the lumps of wood got smaller and smaller until they was not so much kindling as toothpicks. Not much use for the purely ceremonial fire-place in the living room: a load of such wood disappeared up the chimney with an explosive >whoof< which left the room cold. Like the farmhouse where Dau.I and Dau.II were born 30 years later.