It's cold, it's bloody cold, there is nip in the air that reaches under your ribs and pulls at your bones. In the midst of the freeze our heating source comes on the back of a truck in a sack taller than me. Suffice to say, I am tall. It casts such a big, dark shadow that Carol is lost for fifteen minutes in its wake, calling for me or a torch. Cars that drive past have to switch on their headlights.
As I cut open the bag, I am awash with the smell of the forest floor, my father's joinery workshop and the feeling of warmth. There is nothing like a wood fire, the smell, the heat, they are different from all other fires. As I lie on the couch typing this, it is minus six degrees outside and still falling. Our car is closeted in a tight jumper of ice and frost. Inside, in the front room the temperature is in the twenties and the wood is stacked nearby. Yet, to get from the delivery to this point there has been swearing, sweating, lifting and storing of wood. Here are a few images of how a wood pile isn't a wood pile unless you actually build it.