Working In A Heatwave…..

The weather has been so hot just lately, some days reaching 37 degrees centigrade and at night only going down to 26C. Even though it is only June,we still had to get our supply of wood in for winter, so that we could get it all chopped and dried in time before the cold weather sets in. Our friends were kind enough to order some for us, as they had to order some for themselves, which meant they were able to get the wood at a slightly cheaper price. They ordered 10 cubic metres for us, as that’s roughly how much we would need to see us through the winter, all we had to do was collect it from their house, which is about 25 minutes away. Not a problem…. Or so we thought!
We decided to go early in the morning as it would be a lot cooler, so we set off at 7.30. It was a relief to wake up to a cloudy morning, although it was 22C, but at least it was cooler than it had been. The wood had been piled on our friends drive, they even parked their car on the road so we could get our van as close as possible. They had family staying, so were really apologetic that they couldn’t help as they were going out, which was nice of them, even though we weren’t expecting them to help. The pile of wood was big but not as big as we thought it would be. We thought maybe a few trips, we should be finished by lunch time…..wrong!
The logs ( more like trunks ) were oak, cut to 1 metre lengths and weighed a bloody ton! I struggled to lift the big ones with Andy, so I had to leave him to load the big ones while I searched for smaller ones. Even the smaller ones were heavy and I’m no wimp, but I was struggling. Poor Andy had to do most of the loading while I tried to help stack them in the van. Because of the weight we could only load a quarter of the van or we would be over loaded and would struggle to get off the drive,as it was on quite a steep slope. The realisation that it would take us about 4 trips suddenly sank in, it was going to be a long day! When we arrived home, we then had to unload it all and stack it in the barn. The first run took us 2 hours and we were already getting hot, sweaty and tired. After a 10 minute water break, it was back to do it again. By lunch time we had done 2 loads, the sun had come out and the temperature had risen to 34 C, we were shattered.
We decided to stop for lunch as we hadn’t yet eaten. Our agent popped in which delayed us a little, so our lunch break lasted an hour. Watered and stomachs filled, it was off to load the third lot of wood but it didn’t take long before the heat zapped our energy. Sweat dripping, hands sore and aching, we just wanted to be finished, but the more we looked at the pile of wood, the more it just seemed to never go down. We were so tired that by the time we returned home with the third load, we decided to just push them out the back van door, straight onto the garden. When we finally went to pick up our last load, our friends had returned home and were kind enough to help us load the final lot, I have never been so grateful as I was then. We final returned home with our last load at 6 pm, it had taken us just over 10 hours including our water and lunch break. As you can imagine we were knackered, dirty and sweaty. Its funny but looking at all the wood now we had it home, 10 cubic metres is a hell of a lot of wood. All I can say is, next time we will be buying our wood in March when it’s cooler and we will order it already chopped !

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