Title Bar

Middle bit of 2020

Strange unprecented times where even energetic ...


... hard working people and successful businesses were forced to stop and smell the Coffee. Luckily none of the above applied to me and my aging band of brothers and we continued to sit around drinking not just coffee but also tea and the odd sherbert after 6pm of course, just not at the Woods.


There was absolutely no truth in the rumour that whilst Prince Charles was at Balmoral with Covid - 19 a close member of his family (name begins with an A) was isolating at Windsor with Jennifer - 14.


With no customers James who works outdoors ...


... anyway came to finish his creation, an Oak framed covered seating area. Having never tiled a roof before the plan was for him to be assisted by an experienced roofer.


Unfortunately the one booked was locked down and it was just James and me. Well, he had a go ... about a dozen hours of tiles off and on until he admitted that cementing the ends and ridge tiles was not something he fancied.


In the end I lucked into finding Jonny a Romanian renovating the house next door to me and when allowed he came down on his one day off a week and put 14 hours into doing a fab job.



Jonny and the Genny worked faultlessly all day - I made the tea!

The posh Bog with a view over the fields ...


... was a pleasure to use er except that as the water from the rainwater tank around the back was gravity fed into the bottom of the cistern and was slow to refill. Thursday Dave timed it at 35 mins which actually is fine most of the time but a disaster when the family with their hundreds of kids come.


Sorting it out wasn't going to be a quick fix but I'm fortunate to have a mate who has several businesses one of which Innovate Concepts Ltd specialises in sorting out the difficult.


Alex was the first person ...


... to get a van into the far side of the Woods alongside the khazi. Cistern was whipped off, various syphons tried, feeder pipe adapted then shortened and sworn at. In the end he took the cistern home and drilled the porceline for a top feed (quite tricky) and bingo the job is a good one.


As a finishing touch to it I managed to find on fleabay a very decent chap called Kevin who was selling one of the old brass Penny operated Public Convenience door locks complete, working and an irresistible brass plate saying slide catch and pull knob.


It meant Dave would have ...


... to totally rebuild the door to allow it to open inwards and support the heavy mechasnism. He duly produced a beautiful new door that was so good I knew all the kids would want to use it so to steer them away from my personal poo hole I made the decision to rebuild/upgrade the staff and visitors one near the hut - more of this next time!



Another of quite a few favours I owe Alex for sorting out the executive khazi.

A friend of mine told me that he was ...


... pulling off his boxers in the bedroom when his wife said, " You spoil those dogs !" In other news one of my sons told me that 5G conspiracy theorists can jump to conclusions 20 x faster than their 4G



I guess we should talk about timber ...


... and there is plenty to interest you. Just coming off the drying stacks is some fab Spalted Beech graded A1 by Mike who has done a test turn of a beautful bowl and plenty of Walnut and Elm. It's already disappearing so don't hang about.


Just cut at the time of writing is a beautiful Olive Ash log cut in 54 and 65 mm slabs seven foot long and wide. You can see it on the ground in the pic below but you'll have to come and look at it when dry to appreciate how fab they are - and will need to be feeling rich!


Kevin the lorry above using his fabulous crane to pop 12 foot Oak boards over the gate and into a place where Graham the farmer can pick it up with his telehandler and park it in the Woods ... saves a lot of wear and tear on the knackered old body!

Erwin then pops up at the Woods with ...


... a useful pile of Cherry and a coupla nice Oaks. I've said it before and will carry on doing so but with the agg of getting stock in to the Woods when you get a friend to bring it for nothing and stack it exactly where you want it whilst you make the tea it's great!


Whilst some of the Cherry logs aren't big that size goes easily on the Timberking and we've found that natural or wainey edge planks even 8" wide disappear into customer's cars pretty quickly.

With a bit of Timber to process ...


... and Summer jobs like sorting leaky shed roofs we weren't short of things to do but what kept me over busy in early Summer was a massive spike in the courier delivered Smoking Wood boxes.


It was was a perfect storm of people at home and unending BBQ weather. I was struggling to keep up with demand so I had to use cash to entice the 14 year old next door to stop whatever he was doing in his bedroom and come and pack boxes. Fear not gentle reader, I got him to wash his hands first!


I did a sample box of every wood ...


... type sold as smoking chunks for a customer. Unfortunately he was so pleased he posted it on a forum and loads of people wanted one. I don't think they realise I only want a few orders now and again!


I had to come up with a basic mixed box which would allow me to prepare a few over weekends and came up with the four most popular Woods Oak Apple Cherry and Olive and then a variable addition that didn't take hours to do.



This selection box flew out the door as word got round - currently £30 delivered and with the option of up speccing with Hickory or Pecan @ £6 for a kg bag

With Summer weather we finally ...


... got round to fixing the sheds roofs which have leaked since putting in translucent panels early 2017. Apart from dry weather what we needed was someone light and bendy enough to get up on the roof.


The lucky winner of that prize was the ever helpful Tom the hand built Oak structure specialist. With Thursday Dave the supervisor and Smackers the mover of the sheets from the ground I was able to swan about & make the tea.


Special mention in despatches for Smackers ...


... who apart from talking a lot is a real friend to the firm. In the last year or so he has borrowed a digger from a mate, dug the drains for the posh bog and got a trailer load of crushed concrete for the base of the uprated visitors one and taken the tractor bucket away and welded in steel plates to extend it's life without wanting a reward.

Of course it still leaks elsewhere but Rome wasn't built in a day, it's only been 20 years ... we'll get round to it!


Coming up in the final edition of ...


2020 will be some monster Cedar and possibly some excellent Elm from a new source though this isn't confirmed at the time of writing.


Come and see us whilst the track is dry and I can be bothered to meet you and maybe make you a cup of tea if I think you look wealthy with a poor grip on the cash in your pocket (haven't met one of those yet!)