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Friends or Foes



Let's be honest a...


... friend in need is a bit of a pain in the arse. Particularly if it's me, as being very unskilled (apart from the enormous tongue, not a great help in wood world) I don't have a lot to offer my associates apart from some very good dirty jokes. On the other hand most of the people I seek out are very useful to me - strange that, eh!


So I was pleased to be able to help out my mate Ant who wanted a bit of firewood. Firstly he's done me a few favours and secondly there was no effort at all on my behalf as he had a key to the woods and was going to get it himself. It's always handy to do a good turn that doesn't put you out at all.




I've killed your gate mate...


... was the message on my phone after Ant had collected the wood. The gate in question is the outer gate on the wood track and was a wooden one made about 4 years ago by Mark at the sawmill, a standard 5 bar job.


We wedge it open with a bit of angle iron. Ant had done that, spent an hour or so filling his trailer and was just driving out when a gust of wind caused the angle iron to fall down and the gate edge caught his car so perfectly that it imploded from the middle out into an impressive collection of firewood. You would have had quite a job to do that deliberately.


Personally I would have kept quiet and blamed ram raiders.. or Rams at the very least. Ant, being the bloke he is took the view, I broke it, I'll fix it.


So, arriving at the woods a week later I was met with the picture below. He even rustled up some snow in April to make it look like a Christmas present.

Rob appears often enough in...


... the blogs to make regulars aware he is a mate of mine. The difference with Rob is that when he offers to do something, it happens and quite quickly.


I'm always offering to come and help people 'one day' and that day rarely arrives. My brother in law Martin at the farm doesn't mind this as I invariably break something, often bits of him when I 'help'!



When last at the woods...


... with Gordy just before Easter, Rob saw the mess Brian had made trying to drag the Landrover out the wood with the tractor and said he would bring his digger and sort it. He also said he'd bring a couple of hedge trimmers and sort out the overgrown hedgerow leading into the woods.


I would probably never have got round to either of these things but on a Sunday in April having done huge amounts of hours during the week with his business he came out and spent several more hours tidying and sorting the wood working area and all to improve the look of the place.


He's pictured heading in- the arty shots I took from inside the woods looking up didn't come out.

Brian and Gordon...


... are friends too, it's just I usually pay them, albeit well below the going rate. The handy thing about getting to know people is that you learn who you can trust and all those mentioned have high trustworthy ratings.


It reminds me of a Landlord who was interviewing three Barmaids for one job. They all had the same question.


If you were tidying up one night and found a £20 note on the floor what would you do ?


The first was quite clear. " It isn't my money so I would put it in the till ".


The second was a tadge more pragmatic. " Well I would put the £20 in the till but take a tenner out- sort of split it with the firm".


The last was even more decisive " Finders keepers, it's mine and I'd pocket it ".


So which one got the job?.

The answer is of course...

... the one with the biggest tits.

My mate Colin is a bit...


... of an unsung hero in the work he does for nothing at the woods. I've known Colin 25 years. He was into healthy living and countryside long before I ventured away from the pub and out of London.


He has been coming to the woods over the years to cut, clear and tidy. If he had a pound for every tree shelter he's prised off a tree where the wire is causing damage he'd be able to retire. On top of that he put in a fantastic laurel hedge a couple of years ago that is doing great and having done a woodland management course just for fun is drawing up a 5 year maintenance plan.


If I'm honest, whilst I'm not adverse to having the occasional stroll round shouting " Get orf my laand " I am really happier mucking about in the tractor than doing any meaningful woodland maintenance.


Take a bow Col, pictured below giving nature a hand. Sometimes I can even forgive him being Scottish.

So here's a big thank you...


... to the dozens of people who have had an influence on my little business. Both past and sadly passed- Big Mike and present : John the Madge, Drew the Chippie and all the other occasional contributors.


Future vistors are always welcome- you don't have to come and spend money, you can spend some time in the fresh air listening to me swearing and breaking things or preferably sweat a bit and ease the pain of my poor aching back.


Paul Goulden.

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