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Spring into Summer 2023


In the beautiful village of Longparish ...


... lives a charming and helpful bloke called Paul - see not everyone with that name is a cynical old git. Anyway, I've known Paul about 15 years. He's one of those highly clever, qualified geezers who knows everything about trees and plants. Semi retired, he does a bit of tree work and has put Walnut and Apple my way in the past.


You interested in some large Holly he asked. Yes I am I replied - though it's not a big seller the large bit sounded interesting. It's in the dead centre of the village he said - actually he didn't, he said it was in the graveyard and we arranged a meeting.


As you'll see below it was massive for a ...


... a holly tree. Difficult dating Holly but it was old. You won't be suprised to know that taking a lifting machine there wasn't an option. I did bring my little log shifting hand trolley and lugged a couple of bits out. I was reminded of how dense aka ferkin' heavy wet holly is as we just about managed to lift a 2 foot length into the pick up.


I was at this point I remembered that I have had some Holly over 10 years and it isn't popular. The only two people keen were a model maker that used it for boat's decking and a chess piece carver. I said to Paul "I've gone off the idea bud it's too heavy" and walked away - first time I ever have to decent quality and priced round timber.



I did alert Archie who lives near and has an alaskan mill and said if he has liftable slabs I may be interested ... I'm clearly getting old but we all know that!

Whilst I always ramble on about new ...


... stock like the rather lovely coloured Beech below we don't spend our tea and lunch breaks talking shop. Mike being an ex teacher and a lefty takes the staffroom stance and no discussion on work is to be contemplated during tea and kit kats!


Thursday Dave doesn't mind but after 14 years with me we like to discuss other stuff. One day I appointed him head of the NHS and got him to lay out his plans but recently we took on a more ambitious project - designing the perfect woman.


With just under 90 years of marriage between us ...


... I felt we were well qualified in pain and suffering to make some modifications. I started on the build your own Toyota website principle where you choose your model and add engine, colour and features. That bit went ok and we moved on extras. Dave came up with "Must be able to change a tyre". I couldn't top that so we gave up and ate our lunch.


This 28" x 1" x 7' was cut and flogged to me by Ant so I got him to deliver too. If it's as flat and lush when seasoned it'll soon disappear with happy customers.

My tongue flicked in and out ...


... in and out, faster and faster until she was completely helpless.


No woman can resist a good lizard impression.


Or perhaps ...


... Frantically I tore off her dress, bra and knickers. My heart was racing but I just managed to close the wardrobe door before she got home.


And finally ...


... Staring at her naked body, I asked what she wanted. She told me to go for something between a smack and a stroke. So I went for a smoke.


I had a big ol' lump of Oak ...


... waiting at Ant's yard for be processed. At 32" diameter it was too big even for Ant's fab sawmill so we knew it was going to take a bit of fettling and half a day to cut and get stacked. Eventually a sunny day that suited us both came along and we got stuck in. Popping it on the saw even at 2 tons was the easy bit with his old 1970s road digger.


I've put a few more pics on the process in a new blog on my Goulden Hardwoods website

Three and a half hours after ...


... the above pic was taken it was cut and trailered to the woods where the hard bit of stacking stuff carefully when you are rather cream crackered was occurring. The last 4 boards were 1.5" x 24" and pretty heavy and it was a struggle to lift them over head height to complete the stack.


With perfect timing I heard Erwin's tractor coming with the lump of Oak below on board. So in exchange for a cup of tea we got him to help finish the job. This also meant I could get him to place it in the perfect place for a bit of pre sawing dissection.

This latest lump can sit there for the summer where it will require the attention of Ant's vertical cut chainsaw log jig so Doris the tractor can lift and we can cut some quarter sawn timber for you.

Visitors and cyber stalkers ...


... know that my wood sheds are shall we say agricultural or a bit shite if you prefer, having been cobbled together over the years by various people some more skilled than others.


I'm not too worried about how they look though on a gloomy day they are pretty dark at the back - the head torches I provide do the job of spotting bargains for the visitors. If you delve back through the blogs a few years you'll see I put some skylights in which didn't take long to leak and that followed various attempts to stop the leaks.


The latest roof fixer is my mate ...


... Martin although a plasterer by trade has 40 plus years experience in the business so has picked up a lot of useful know how. It's clear trying to fix an old higgley piggledy tin roof is a lot harder than stripping and replacing - but it's also a lot cheaper!


Stage I was clearing all the crap from the trees off. Stage II improving the fall a couple of inches. Stage III putting in some more rafters and supports and a few more fixings and finally stage IV heat shrinking some rubber roofing stuff along joins. He's confident it won't leak so I've bet him £50 it does and I'm hoping I'll pay out.

Naturally after fixing the roof ...


... it didn't rain for weeks so a full ássessment of how succesful a job it was may be after next winter - the few dribbles detected after a heavy downpour are apparently not Martin's fault!

With the sun shining, sales ticking along nicely with a steady flow of new and old faces we plodded along as we are prone to with long tea breaks and short days - well we are getting old.


One beautiful summers day, we lounged in recliners and I thought the view worthy of a pic - can you name the three types of tree shown just from the leaves?

Mr Blue Sky was certainly living there that day as ELO sang - Beech Ash and Oak


So that's it for the ...


... middle of the year one - next one covering Autumn onwards will appear at the end of year. If you want to find out before then what's hot and what's not ... er on special offer get yourself down with proof of wealth and I can make sure you go home poorer - but happy!