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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10216

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 19 7:43 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Nice to hear from you again Gregotyn, and glad you had a good time. Never a bad thing to guess a lady is younger than she is.

We started work again this week; husband and son on Wednesday while I did the shopping, and me yesterday filling log sacks. I managed 26 yesterday, which gives me the 30, including a few a did last week, for one order. I now have 10 to do for another outlet and 15 to do for someone who ordered some more log sacks for themselves. They had some before Christmas. Then I just carry on, but need to get on with the birch cutting too, so plenty to do.

The garden is fairly well up together, although there is a lot more I would like to do, but need husbands help for most of it, so it has to wait until he feels in a garden mood.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1774
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 19 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thank you, MR, it is good to be back after the holiday with no chat anywhere on line.I am back into battle at work too. We are a man short, as one left and his replacement is internal, but still doing his old work too, so of no real benefit to me, and my immediate boss is now doing his old job as well as his new job, so he is spread pretty thin on the ground; and I am running around as well as trying to serve customers who want obscurities-to me, but if only they knew the numbers I could help. In reality I should bring home a tractor manual and learn the bits and bobs, but I'm a bit long in the tooth to take any more information in!

You are well on top of the log sacks MR. I wish I could get hold of more larger pieces of dry timber 6"x6" down to 3"x2" which I take away to be cut by a machine and they do 10 times what I can achieve in a week in an hour. All I have to do is cut it to length, take to the cutter and go back the next week and it is done. I only pay by the net after I have got it home and trimmed it up and netted. The people concerned are friends so they know I don't cheat and I always add 1 more than I do to be sure they get a good deal. It is his 4 children who do the job-15 to 21, (including twins!).

I assume the birch cutting is for the besoms you make MR, or is it that birch just needs pruning. However much I like my old oaks and beech, I only have experience of cutting wood from the round to some manufacture. I have felled a few spruce and larch, but not many, and I wasn't very good at it either! I often think I would like to try making wooden hurdles, but I wouldn't know where to start, I assume hazel?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10216

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 19 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You might try learning a few bits a night Gregotyn; that might help. Nice to know they really need you though.

I thought I was doing all right for the log sacks, then one of our other outlets phoned up and only had 6 left, which they had just sold before husband and son made the delivery from the ones I had done. So I have to replace that 20, and make 25 more, which I reckon at 45, so rather a lot of work next week.

The birch tops are for the besoms. If the stems are large enough they will go for firewood or charcoal, but some I cut last week were only about 1-2", so not much use for anything.

Sheep hurdles are usually made of hazel, but gate hurdles are made of what ever you have. For best results the uprights that touch the ground are often made of sweet chestnut and the rest ash, as that is a lot lighter, but any other wood will do.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1774
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 19 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I promise I won't say a word regarding your log sacks completed again, MR.! With tractor parts my main problem is I forget all too quickly-sometimes en route to fetch what I want-so am now writing down all numbers needed for locating and fetching. It is called getting old and I realise how old; when I had a former girlfriend from Kent emailed me to see if I am still alive! This morning she has informed me that a granddaughter is 21 today and I remember her being born! I am not sure why she is in touch again, and rather wish she wasn't-afraid she was the type who was always asking why don't you (me) do this or that, she of course could do no wrong in her eyes.

Thank you, MR, for the birch info. I have never had any dealings with birch, but still like to "know" a bit about it. The hazel is for something I have thought about for some time now. I have a lot of rampant hazel and thought that it may be worth doing my front garden fence out of my own hazel. Finding the straight bits will be a challenge. I can easily make a base jig. Knowing the right gaps for the uprights is another issue-trial and error!
I am thinking it is getting time to retire and thought that I would want an extra enterprise to compensate for the lower income though I have just had a small rise in pension and there is a limit to how much kindling I want to chop. This year will be a record number of nets sold, and my stock of nets is looking too low. I am only glad I didn't take on another shop who asked if I was interested a couple of months back for next year-retirement may force the issue!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10216

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 19 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If it helps, I never have been able to remember numbers. Strange thing is, husband has no problem, but I can do maths and arithmetic and he can't.

The school I used to go to is organising a couple of reunions over the next two years, and it is rather bothering that several of our number have died. Sadly, at least one died soon after leaving school, in a car crash, and several others seem to be deceased for various reasons, so not entirely age related.

The number of log sacks on order has just increased. I got an e-mail from one outlet asking to up their order to 50 from 30. I was managing to keep up before Christmas, but it is getting a bit difficult at the moment. Still, if I can get the wood, I will just have to work hard all this week making them.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1774
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 19 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A bonus-you are able to work as a team. Nothing wrong with a "doer" and a "thinker" in partnership". I was a maths fanatic, I was given a shilling for getting a question right by the maths teacher, which no-one else dared have a go at. He was a great teacher he made maths fun and so sing in our eyes. I for some reason landed myself in the bottom set for maths, something to do with a poor result at the end of the second year, but had always been in the top 5 for previous exams-complacency I guess. But I was lucky to get that teacher-"Eggy" Law, who normally taught A levels only-perhaps he was being punished for something to be landed with us!!

I know that several of my school and college friends have 'gone' too. I don't go to the reunions now as most were married and they and their wives seem to be preoccupied with baby talk, I would have liked, children, but I married a woman who was adamant that there were to be no children, and she was more important to me than children at the time-guess I always hoped, but 4.5 years later we separated, I being accused of seeing other women which was just not true. So I have been single since then and have always been able to do as I liked, which is some compensation, but.....! My description of my life is that- "I can sit both sides of my fire place without an argument."

My nets are going well, but correspondingly I am keeping up, not sure how. I have had one lucky stroke. A friend with a kindling cutter has been chopping the blocks for me, 3x2 up to 6x6, and this has been a like a pressure relief valve. I take the blocks to them and collect the next week. Lately I have been short of big stuff, so have been managing with thin boards. I have now got about 10 sacks for the chopping machine. Then I went into another shed-the lorry body-to find a further 8 smaller sacks of blocks which I had forgotten so now have trailer load ready for the weekend. When they come back I have to 'tidy them up' and throw away the rubbish for those who will use it up for me. I am looking for another trailer in the form of a small stock box or similar which I can fill over the weeks, and when full take it to the cutter's. Now it is inefficient to store it in a shed then put it in a trailer, sheeted up, and taken away-a 10 mile round trip. I could be using the sheeting time to cut more wood! You can probably guess I trained in work study!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10216

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 19 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I try to be as efficient as possible too, but sometimes it just isn't feasible. At present, I am waiting on some wood for bagging, then I just get going and get it bagged and out. We managed beautifully until Christmas, but now we have the post Christmas rush it is getting more difficult.

For some reason I had the opposite with Maths.; although I struggled in my first year at senior school, partly because my father was away from home on duty, I got into the top set at the end of the first year. One boy left, which put me, in the place below, one up, so got into the A stream. I managed quite well after that. On the whole our maths teachers were good, and the one I couldn't stand never taught me thank goodness. I got A level anyway, but my teacher at that level told me I got it 'by brute force and ignorance', but which read, 'learnt all the equations' and just got there, rather than being mathematically gifted.

I couldn't do anything in particular in the woods yesterday, so did the shopping and some baking. Hope to get on with log nets today if there is suitable wood.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1774
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 19 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A disaster yesterday. I was as normal going swimming, but a manure spreader was coming down the road, I took evasive action to the left only to hit a large (mainly buried) rock, giving me 2 punctures! I went to a friend's house she phoned the local man, who came took the one wheel away and fitted a tyre he had at his garage, whilst I fitted the spare, he came back with the other and hey presto I was mobile again but missed the swimming. How good is it that the chap who helped me, was an apprentice where I was a fork lift driver when I first came to live in Wales. When my current mechanic decides to give up I will be going to him to look after me. He doesn't want paying but wants kindling-now there is a bonus for me as he hates chopping wood and his wife is not satisfied with "just the heating"! Now I who have no heat in the house, love chopping wood. He is an interesting man and has a lot of respect in the rally world. He is in charge of fuel testing for the fuels used in rally cars all over the world-it appears they all have to have the same fuel to cut out any advantages that folks can get with enhanced additives.

Not a lot to do today at work, so I have been able to tidy up loose ends. I have been able to go home having done all the cardboard crushing, a job I like but with other things I have to do it is more time consuming than the value of the card board-which is nothing, even though we were promised to be paid for it! My boss is glad to get it out of the way, whereas I want the company to whom I deliver the board to pay up, as they said they would!! The other thing I did today was to put away the incoming drill bits. They arrive all individually packed, we cut the packing off them and put them in a set of drawers we have for the job-all 500 of them, what a pain every drill bit packed on its own! We use most of them in the workshop.

Going back to losses of friends from college days we lost one very early-he left college and went to Rhodesia-Zimbabwe-to work and live, but had to do military service first and got killed in the bush by the rebels, at about 21 yo. I was surprised he went as he was a long haired lad without an ounce of aggression in him.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10216

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 19 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Glad you got mobile again so quickly, even if it meant missing swimming. Sounds as if your ex-apprentice is a rather useful and very well respected man now. It is quite useful when you have people like that that you helped to train.

On Wednesday I managed to do 34 log nets, with some sporadic help from our son, who was also doing other work, then yesterday another 8, as we only had about half an hour after I got the wood. Still have another 45 to deliver, so have to work hard next week and get the rest made up.

Unfortunately, husband had a log he threw into the back of one of the trucks bounce and hit the back window. It has happened any number of times before, but this time it broke, so someone has to be around for the windscreen man to come and change it. And it has cost us our windscreen excess.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1774
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 19 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The lad who did thee tyre is a lad I knew from work years ago as an apprentice. He, I have already approached to do my work when my present mechanic retires-he's over 70 now and wants a bit easier life!

You have done well with the netting up, MR. It is all money coming in. I hope the boys can keep you going with logs, or do you have the stock and it is hard to find the time, I certainly don't manage my house very well and do the amount of firewood I do very well, there is not much dusting done at my place. I tend to live in my bedroom as I am working all day, and when I get home I start again! eat my dinner in bed and get up around 4.15-out by 5 and in work by 5.30 latest. I have had enough by 1 pm when I leave!

What a pain with the window. It could do with a cover of mesh to help reduce any more mishaps maybe?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10216

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 19 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

At present we are getting a bit short of suitable wood for the log sacks, but hope to have some more soon. Some of it hasn't seasoned as well as we hoped, and is stacked neatly in the log store finishing its seasoning, and drying, as it only needs to get rained on for the more seasoned stuff to get wet again. At present they are cutting me rather large timber, which means it comes out a bit 'slabby', so needs to be split down again or it is a very odd, rather flat shape, and not too good for putting in the nets.

We have managed to keep the rear windscreen safe so far; it is 51 registration, so 17 years is quite good. There is a metal grill of sorts between the window and the tub of the pick up, but either the window had got very brittle with time, or there was just the one point that log hit that was vulnerable. Still, all dealt with now.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1774
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 19 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have had the same problem with kindling, it needs to be dry and sometimes I see really good pallets, in chopping terms, but they are so wet I have to chop it and leave it to dry till next year! I am in the process of gathering some 'big' bits to make a seasoning shed where such pallets can be dried out and I will know it will chop and sell-bone dry! I suppose I have the buildings already, but when I have any space I fill it, if only I were not such a hoarder. I have been told my favourite expression is that "it will come in". I resent doing work to get wood in a state to be sawn but have to leave it to dry wherever I can find a space-purpose built is the answer.

A 51 plate is a very good age for a working pick-up, MR. It is the route I am going now, I want a pick-up with 2 seats a long back The original L200 is the sort I am looking for. Someone said that there is a Fiat on the road, very much like that and reasonable price, and made in "Japanese style" If I have an open back I won't be able to carry so much useful junk with me, and that will up the pay load, but reduce the mpg when travelling empty, and a new shed for drying will negate the need for a covered back, 2 seats however, so I can cover that second seat in the rubbish!, sorted. The only drawback is that if it is 2 w/d I will need some weight always in the back for grip, and when in 4w/d the fuel consumption goes up. I have made a few sorties to look at them, but not seen what I want yet.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10216

PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 19 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Both of our trucks are very low mileage, as we don't travel very far in them. So far, with a bit of work, both have been able to pass the MOT, but no doubt sooner or later we will be advised that we need to replace one. The trouble is the old style is better for us as the new ones are heavy, high sided and totally unsuitable for country use. They are SUVs rather than UVs, or Chelsea tractors rather than proper pick ups.

A friend of ours is terrible with his car. Whatever you want seems to be in it. The only problem comes with fitting in a passenger or two.

We had our volunteer day yesterday, and managed to clear up a bit more brash, so more timber uncovered and stacked for removal for firewood or charcoal, so a good mornings work, and my home made mince pies went down very well.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1774
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 19 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have the same problem as your friend, MR., I don't do passengers! But if you need something I have got it! My big boss has a new Ford 5 seat pickup every year and when we have to load anything it will only go through the back of the pickup and even that is high. We usually put a load of oil on it and it is put on one at a time 'cos a pallet is too wide to go between the wheel arches. 40 times 20 litres is a fair weight too!

The way this year is going you will be doing firewood for some time to come, there is a cold 'snow' period promised. How lucky to have volunteers to help find timber in the woods at a cost of mince pies! I hope it is all dry enough to cut, split and sell.

I am going home to de-nail and cut kindling before it gets dark. I must admit I would prefer to cut and chop all the wood on Saturday, but I do as much as daylight will allow-just in case something goes wrong!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10216

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 19 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

At present we are looking around for ready to use firewood. We are expecting some more from 'across the ride' soon, but at present, looking for fallen branches and the odd bits we have got out of last years coup. Husband and son got a couple of fallen branches off a beech tree yesterday. They were still just attached to the tree, so had to be cut down using the pole saw. One is ready to use, but the other is still green, so will have to be stored for a year or so before use.

The volunteers were doing brash burning, so they were just uncovering the timber that was on the ground. Husband and son were cutting to length, and if possible hauling it out into a heap, but the larger bits will need the little tractor and forwarder.

They cut me down another birch tree yesterday, so I gathered another couple of bundles of twigs. We had a good sort out in the tent store so the new birch can go in there. Last year we had it in a sort of shelter covered in black plastic to keep the light out, but quite a lot rotted, so I want air circulation this year. The light is subdued, which may be enough, but at leaf burst time I may well cover this as well.

Saw the first of the bluebell leaves coming up yesterday, which is quite late. As the weather has been mild I would expect them to be earlier, but never know with bluebells.

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