man places a briquette in a wood burner.

It’s mid-January and the weather has been atrocious for the last few weeks. It has rained almost constantly since Christmas and everywhere is dripping wet. Couple that with the cold and you can understand why I’ve been holed up in my house as much as possible, only venturing out to get some wood for the fire.

But then catastrophe strikes and I realise my stock of wood chip briquettes are going to run out over the week-end, and indeed they did. Poor management on my part. So, I grab my trusty little chopper and proceed to demolish a load of planks that were taken from an old fence. It’s one of the hardest things I have ever done and probably the most dangerous… except falling from the top of a pear tree and falling off the front of a tractor, both times landing on my head. Luckily there’s not a lot that goes on up there so I was fine.

No, the danger here is a purely physical one where I have to hold a 120cm long and 15cm wide plank, then hit it with my little chopper. Actually hitting it was pretty hard at first, until I got my eye in. Then hitting accurately without chopping my fingers off took precedence over creating a meaningful pile of firewood.

An couple of hours later I had my pile of wood and off I went to shove it in the wood burner. It lasted three hours and that amounted to two hours work on four planks. I have to admit, I’m not particularly good at wielding my little chopper, so I went out and bought a couple bags of wood and some briquettes. Lumberjack? Not me, I’m happy striking a match and putting it to a firelighter.

Roll on the summer.

Copyright Tom Kane © 2019

New release Living in Cyprus: 2018

Read about the life and observations of an English expat’s life in Cyprus

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. From snake charming for beginners to flying dogs, in ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

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