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Early 2015



It's all going disgusting well ...


... which always makes me think it won't last, so best get over here and bank some wood before I drop off the perch (see Parrot joke below!) or decide to put my prices up!


The New Year kicked ...


... in with record sales which rather took me by surprise and got me sweating about stock. More time was needed to be found for preparing smoking wood for the season and timber for next years sales. So, I pulled my finger out which rather upset the woodpecker (don't ask) and upped my game.


The fruits of my and to be honest mostly other people's efforts are that I've got some fantastic London Plane and a few other things cut and starting the drying process so Jan 2016 could be a winner too. I've also got a new regular helper- more later but it's made a lot of difference already.

Yet again I fell for Rob's blah ...


... well twice again actually though the second bit concerning the Elm pictured below was someone North of the border's bad. The first bit was the usual free wood with a catch. This time Cedar and was in Romsey and would take less than 3 hours.


So, of course it took 6 and was in fact another 50 miles away in Havant - but you can't leave the poor sod to struggle on his own particularly when he had a touch of man flu.


Meanwhile, Rob had bought a double pallet of Elm from a contact in Scotland and was pleased enough with it to order another which he invited me to go halves on.


Announced as the best Elm ever ...


... seen by the Scottish bloke and supposedly even better than the first batch I was excited. As soon as I saw it having seen the first lot I knew it wasn't as good.


There also wasn't the amount volume wise claimed and I reluctantly backed out - easing my pain by buying the rather interesting bit below from the first batch and a couple of other planks albeit at top dollar.



It's a cracking bit of wood but I was hoping for 20 bits like it.

Cinderella went to the Ball with strict instructions ...


... to leave on the stroke of midnight or her moist lady bits would turn into a pumpkin. At the ball she met a handsome Prince who introduced himself as Peter the Pumpkin eater and asked what time she had to be home ...


... "oh about half past 4 should be fine," the filthy filly replied.


My wife has always proclaimed...


... that there is nothing more painful than childbirth.


Clearly never trodden on a plug in the middle of the night then!

The search for Walnut ...


... has featured heavily in past blogs and will no doubt do so in the future as there is usually a tale to be told with the struggle. In a good year I'll get on 4 or 5 trees usually in gardens. As I need help from either Rob or Andy or sometimes Andy & Rob it means splitting the booty two or three ways.


At the end of each day of toil I will get between 5 and 15 cube which after planking drops down further so you can see I never have much.


Andy has become the undisputed Walnut King ...


... having spent the last couple of years and a lot of money gathering the best out there from all over the country and transporting them to Helmdon Sawmill where the pile awaiting the saw became ever more impressive.


What Andy and his oppo Dave did and continue to do was go to the extra effort and expense to dig out the root and gain that 18" of the best figuring that usually gets lost below the felling cut.


I went along to watch ...


... the first batch being sawn and it was pretty impressive - 750 cubic feet of the best Walnut I've ever seen. Andy was smiling (all the way to the bank) and let me have a few cube of good stuff at a generous price.


It's always worth a trip up to see Steve at Helmdon. In my considered opinion supported by the leading timber sellers the best sawmill in England - pictured below are some interesting Elm burrs acquired there.



I was going to post a picture of Andy's impressive pile of Walnut but actually you can visit his site for that. These are the Elm burrs on top of some stunning Olive Ash ... great coffee tables!

I once had a boss who ...


... had " You don't have to be mad to work here but it helps" on the wall behind her desk.


It was written in her own shit!

I have been looking for London Plane ...


... or Lacewood as it is known amongst other things for a long time and some has finally landed at the woods to be passed to you at an excellent price after a bit of drying!


The first log had plenty of what I was and hopefully you will be looking for - great figure and colour. This is now stacked. It was all cut at 1.5" so that after a year it can head off for finishing at your place. Just a reminder our friends at Tyler Hardwoods can Kiln dry part seasoned wood for about £8 per cubic foot.


I bought a couple of hundred cubic feet ...


... and if it all turns out like the first log will be acquiring more, as at a sale price of £55 a cube is better value than Walnut and just as good to work with.



You will observe fine figuring ... I been looking hard and I think I can see £££'s for me!

There could be only one thing better than Dave ...


... my highly valued Thursday helper and that would be two Daves. Well bugger me with a barge pole that's exactly what I have acquired. Dave II also has an Army background and lots to add in enthusiasm and common sense. He is Scottish but his English isn't too bad, he understands most of what I say!


He now comes Tuesdays and if he packs it in soon which I hope doesn't happen he will leave behind safety and other improvements. With my highest spending customer for last few years being called Dave as is the village mechanic who looks after the fleet, I might change the name to Gouldave Hardwoods!



Dave the II passing the light a fire in -3 C test

With so much going on ...


... winter slipped away and it was spring before I could say "when is this bloody winter ever going to end". The top task of getting more timber to the woods proceeded well with a bit of help from a customer who handily is also a HGV driver and moved a couple of loads from Helmdon for a bit of wood.


Mike bringing several tons to the bottom of the 1 mile track is a good start, but it still needs offloading on to a trailer and taken to the woods & then stacked. His second delivery consisted of two Plane logs weighing about 3 tons - too much for an old git like me ... help was needed!


Erwin's other half is the delightful ...


... Anna who is certainly a grafter. She is part of the local shoot beating team I occasionally grace with my presence and has several other jobs. If you want something done ask a busy person & she agreed to move the wood on a sunny afternoon.


Having borrowed his partner I thought I might as well take the piss and borrow his big trailer to get it up the woods in one trip. This worked well but his much longer trailer needed Anna's eagle eyes to guide me through the gates and around the woods.



Some say Anna is the best looking thing in the photo but the beautiful London Plane and Doris the Tractor (3 years younger than her) are strong competition!

A bloke sees a parrot ...

... in a shop window and notices it doesn't have any feet or legs. What you lookin' at it says, I was born this way. I happen to be a highly intelligent and a thoroughly educated bird.


Oh yeah? the guy asks. Then answer this, how do you hang onto your perch, without any feet?

Well, the parrot says. This is very embarrassing but since you asked, I wrap my weenie around this wooden bar like a little hook. You can't see it, because of my feathers.


Wow, says the guy. You really can understand and can speak English, can't you?

Actually, I speak both Spanish and English, and I can converse with reasonable competence on almost any topic, politics, religion, sports, physics, philosophy. I'm especially good at ornithology. You really ought to buy me, I'd be a great companion.


Sorry, but I just can't afford ...


... your £200 price tag. Der, says the parrot, I'm defective, so the truth is, nobody wants me cause I don't have any feet. You can probably get me for £20, just make the guy an offer. It works! - the parrot is sensational. He has a great sense of humour, he's interesting, he's a great pal, he understands everything, he sympathizes and he's insightful.


One day the parrot goes, 'Psssssssssssst ...


.... and motions him over with one wing. I don't know if I should tell you this or not, but it's about your wife, and the UPS man. What are you talking about? asks the guy.

When the UPS man delivered a package today, your wife greeted him at the door, in a sheer black nightie.


WHAT??? the guy asks incredulously.Then what happened?

Well, then the UPS man came into the house, and lifted up her nightie, and began petting her all over, reported the parrot.

'NO!' he exclaims ... she let him?


Then he took off her nightie ...


... got down on his knees, and began to kiss her all over.Then the frantic guy demands, THEN WHAT HAPPENED?


DUNNO?!? I got a hard-on and fell off my perch.!'

Anyway, back to another type of wood ...


... amongst the delights I have added to my fine timber emporium recently is the Apple below, some perfect Yew (like rocking horse shit that) and of course the delights mentioned earlier in the blog.



This Apple is ...


... another Erwin gem. The really exciting Yew mentioned last time is still standing but should be heading my way later this year.


I have a job coming up with Rob that should bring Sweet Chestnut and Andy may let me have a bit of his Walnut mountain.


Do come & visit - bring cash, bit coin or other chattels to barter with. Please note I no longer take women as payment - my back isn't up to it!