Sunday, 22 September 2013


If you've been followers of this blog for a while you would have realised that I have three obsessions: France; food and interior design. There are subsets to some of these - textiles for example would come under the design obsession (particularly quilts & blankets). But I've never mentioned Andrew's obsession. And there is only one.


When we returned from sailing we spent a few weeks in the Lot valley and did a lot of walking, coming across huge stacks of cut logs. Andrew took photos by the dozen. He gifted one to me the following year as a personalised Christmas card.

I'm not entirely sure when this obsession started but I think it was when we owned a draughty Victorian cottage with an open fire. We got to know our neighbour quite well and one day he came round to see Andrew, looking very shifty. A conversation in hushed tones was followed by an "I'll be out for a couple of hours". It transpired that our neighbour knew of a fallen oak tree and had permission to cut it but needed help. We'd been accepted into the community - a log source had been shared.

After that we went sailing and briefly lived in a modern house so Andrew had to be content with admiring from a distance, until we moved here and installed a multi-fuel burner. No dog walk was complete until a log had been found to add to the pile. A neighbour's log pile was monitored from afar and there was talk about buying a trailer. I started to get a little concerned when he said that our walnut tree needed a serious prune as I sensed an ulterior motive. I'm still not convinced I was wrong.

After pruning
And there were mutterings when I was taking photographs of the lichen and not of the ever growing log pile.

Walnut prunings
So imagine his delight when for his birthday in April he was given this:

It's a moisture meter for logs, it allows you to choose the optimum time to burn. Every month or so Andrew goes to the two wood piles (the logs for burning are in the wood shed) and tests them. He has been known to test the moisture content of myself & Mortimer.

Best to keep moving Mr M
Andrew doesn't read blogs but does know some of the ones I follow as I chat  about them and occasionally he looks over my shoulder. Like when Margaret wrote about her log delivery. This morning I got up early, sat with a cup of tea and caught up with some blog reading, discovering that Walt had also had a recent delivery, a fact I mentioned to Andrew over breakfast (I know - we have to get out more!). Next thing I know the laptop's on the table and Andrew is going through my browser history. Hmmmm.

As for me I still like taking the photographs.

Apple log


  1. Well of course Andrew's going to be in his element when you finally get to France! All those immaculately designed wood piles, with lengths correct to the micromillimetre ... I can admire them but to be honest I'm a bit of a 'bof - life's too short' woman myself :)

  2. I'm with you Kalba - as long as the wood pile doesn't fall over when I take a log I'm not overly bothered. As for Andrew, do the French have a term for 'pigs in clover'?

  3. It's taken me an age to comment, as we've been in transit this week. Andrew should know our hosts of last weekend, in South Gloucestershire. Every stick they burn has been felled, moved, chopped, moved again, cut, stacked, stored.... and finally used, by 'Im Outdoors. Now I know what to take as a present next time we visit.....

  4. If you were heading back to France I hope you had a good journey Margaret. Added to Andrew's pleasure this week was another trailer load of apple wood, now neatly staked in the wood shed. I have to confess a slight craving for a cold afternoon so I can sit in front of the woodburner - is October too early for mulled wine?

  5. Oooh yes, mulled wine. I think we have to wait a bit though..... don't we?