How big is half a trailer?

How many logs are there in half a trailer?

A lot

And how easy is it to unload them when you live near a main road?

Not very

And who thought through where they would go when they were delivered?


In my defence, I was thinking of the pennies looking after the pounds. The new stove, bought for the cat, after Noel had the idea our furry lodger would stretch out in front of it and look cute and contented (he did and he does) consumes quite a few logs. We quickly knocked the purchase of sacks from the local garage on the head after exclaiming HOW MUCH? one too many times.

Ever keen to support local business, we picked up the number of a local logger from the chippy. Andy has a smallholding where, I assume, he grows logs. He's been delivering bags in multiples of five which Noel quite easily carried down into the cellar. But that was in the late spring when we were warm enough. We face a long winter of cold, dark nights and getting five bags at a time isn't enough to keep the fire burning.

So I decided to go for the next size up. Half a trailer. Andy said it would last us through the winter. Maybe that was the clue to how many he'd bring. But when I phoned, the poor chap had done himself a mischief. He was laid up with a bad back and had to resort to watching daytime TV. I commiserated. Give us a couple of weeks, he said.

Well, the couple of weeks was up yesterday. I was having a giggly girlie afternoon with three friends. Noel was out with his friends doing manly stuff, like climbing, talking about the economy, not emoting, you know the kind of thing.

In the middle of the girlieness – measured by the one empty and one half-empty champagne bottle (dah-ling, I did say it was girlie), Andy called to say he'd drop off the logs that afternoon if it was OK. Ah, yes, yes, I said. No problem. The men would be back and could sort it.

Good, he said, but, errr, where could he unload them? He's arrive with the tractor and trailer.

Tractor and trailer? They're quite big, aren't they?

Usually are……

I texted Noel to alert him to the task that would await him on his return, while I returned to the champagne. And the girlie giggling.

Noel and Martin arrived, flushed with their successful and, though they said so themselves, gnarly climbing at the Leeds Wall. No, he hadn't got my text, his phone was flat (aren't they all?) Then Andy arrived with the tractor.

I hadn't realised how big trailers are. There were a lot of logs. Far too many to carry an armful at a time to – well – that was the next challenge……….Every box and bin was emptied to carry the logs around the end of the road, up the ginnel and to the back of the house. Darkness fell. So did the rain. It must have taken them the best part of an hour to unload and stack the giant Jenga against the side of the conservatory. And the front.Two deep. With some to spare. The men did a great job, we all agreed, as we watched them, and then didn't because it was too dark.

Still. We won't need any logs for a while.

And the fire is fabulous.

And the cat is very happy.

Today's lovely thing
Re-planting all the bulbs I've dug up. 

The saddest thing in the world

As I drove through a local village, the traffic slowed and stopped. We were following a hearse. No-one should be impatient at having to wait a little longer in the presence of someone who is making their last journey.

The cortege came to a halt outside the schoolroom. A small party was waiting. A young mum, dressed in black, comforted her baby. The funeral director opened the back of the hearse and removed a huge teddy bear, leaving behind a tiny white coffin. It looked lost in the empty black vehicle.

I don't know who they were, but felt a great sadness as I passed the small party. This on the day that an inquiry started into the assisted suicide of a 23-year-old rugby player, a tetraplegic since a terrible accident a year previously. He didn't want to live any more.

A sad day. A sad day indeed.

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