One thing the French get really excited about is their log piles. When you drive through the countryside there are 100 metre x 2 metre high piled logs at every turn in the road. With the lack of natural gas most people heat by wood burners and “old wood” is sold for 40 euros per cubic metre. Now until this year,the nearest I have come to my very own log pile is the mish-mash of felled wood from our jungle of a garden. Not any more.
As some of you will know we have brought out our own wood-burner which is hopefully being installed with an accompanying chimney,flue and hearth this month(Sept). In anticipation of this much awaited arrival we have used a contact that my brother in law has,to supply us with 3 cubes of wood for the forthcoming winter/s. 3 cubic metres doesn’t SOUND like a lot of wood, we have only had 1 cube delivered so far….but it looks tons!!. Now what better way than to cut said wood than with a chain saw,.....and an axe…”gotta have an axe” I said.
With this in mind Ian, Richard and myself disappeared off to La Rochefoucauld (marvellous Chateau there by the way)to purchase a chain saw. We were in luck there was an amazing “promo” deal on a petrol chainsaw that looked as though it would do the trick (plus a really neat axe that I could pretend to wield about and look like a lumberjack) Voila,sold to the Brits all ready, and up for a good afternoons chopping, or so we thought.
Now the problem with some machine assembly is : that it’s pretty difficult to follow the instructions in your native language but try it in French !!! how hard can it be?,you try it!! Well armed with a dictionary it proved do-able, it just took a while. Glowing with pride,some hour and a half later we fill it with fuel, and chain oil and ….putt……putt…….putt……putt…. nothing. “@%*~#” Said the boys(direct quote) They had it apart(again) and fiddled(and cursed) and fiddled again(where’s mechanic Paul when you need him) and finally deduced -No spark… and the “kill” switch is wonky so basically …it’s…… that word again…..!
So,the afternoon of wood chopping was dropped in favour of the two boys taking the thing BACK to the shop to get a replacement by explaining it all to the Returns section in French.Tee hee, I meanly left them to that, alright I could have gone, but I figured it’s about time their training wheels came off their command of the language. Oh,to have been a fly on the wall !!. However,amazingly they managed to achieve A RESULT,as some 2 hrs later with a freshly boxed(to assemble again)chain saw, and 6 bottles of Charante Pineau(blended Cognac and wine), sold directly from a local producer, they returned triumphant.Just where the Pineau came into it, I wasn't too sure.
It was now too late for logging, as we were going out for a meal at 7pm, but had just enough time to build it and fire it up…. thankfully, it worked.
Over the meal it was revealed that on their travels they had identified the problem all along. It was….wait for it…..MY fault !!!! They had remembered that when Ian had picked up the Original box in the warehouse he had added,(as he knows me too well) “Is this one ok Sis or do you want a different one??” I, of course DID want a different one, as the box he had chosen had minimal damage to one side. You can’t be too careful folks, so I choose a perfect box,Whoops, it’s just a shame it had a broken chain saw inside,had I gone for Ian’s selection, I would have had a log pile by teatime. Still, what’s the hurry, the sun will be shining again tomorrow.