Saturday, August 22, 2015

Making hay

Making hay while the sun shines is of course about taking opportunities when they're offered.  I've been doing quite a bit of that recently as I find out what this phase of my life is shaping up as.  I'll write more about the wider opportunities some other time but today I am taking the phrase literally.

When I got up it seemed a pleasant day but when I looked at my favourite (because most accurate) weather forecast site it looked as if the sunshine in the first part of the day was likely to be the last for about six days and furthermore most days we will be getting rain at least part of the day.  It was a case of deciding on priorities for the short burst of fine weather.

I am currently in that part of my working cycle in the pottery where I am finishing off making pots in one clay before cleaning up the pottery and starting the other.  This means I have boards pleasingly full of dry pots waiting to be fired once I have a good mixture of shapes ready in both clays.   I am finishing off with cereal bowls and plates, which take up masses of space on their boards until they are dry, when they can be stacked, so I'm in danger of not being able to make anything else until I can get some things dry.  That was therefore the first priority of the day and here we see lots of things on the ware trolley already half dry.  As the sun is still shining, I am hopeful that by the time the rain arrives, the bowls will be stackable.

The other thing that has been on my mind is logs.  M always collected wood wherever he saw it and I think I have posted photos of various stacks of wood here previously.  In the last couple of years he said it didn't matter if there was too much because that would mean there was still firewood if he was no longer able to collect and cut it up or if he died I would still have a couple of winters worth of wood and of course now is that time and I do have plenty of wood to be converted to logs for the winter.

Last autum I was much fetched with a chainsaw bench I saw in a local shop which holds the chainsaw in a clamp and saves you having to hold it.  The chainsaw is not very heavy and I am able to use it but there are certainly times when my back would rather not be bending at a low angle while holding a moderately heavy electric implement, so I bought the bench.

Since then there have been other priorities outside.  I've got further with the garden, done massive amounts of clearing in sheds and covered ways and generally managed to while away the fine weather we've had.  But autumn is definitely approaching. so a couple of weeks ago I got out the bench and tried to set it up.  Eventually having summoned the help of an experienced friend we established that it would not work!  The handle of the clamp to hold the saw ended up on the wood before the saw did.  A couple of phone calls to the company who make the benches established that this can be a problem and there is an alternative handle, which eventually arrived midweek this week.  So the other obvious job to start while the sun shone was cutting logs.

Less than half an hour's work.  Most enjoyable and satisfying, though disappointing to find how little wood was in the drying area once I got going.  M was a master of the diagonal.  He loved to chuck things in and didn't care much that if they were diagonal they took up to four times the space they really needed.  I'm not sure I'll actually have enough completely dry wood for the winter.  For this reason I've stopped the sawing and now I've finished lunch, will give the rest of the dry part of the day over to organising the woodshed so all the dry wood is one side, leaving room for whatever else I saw up later to dry for the next few months.  And cross my fingers for a mild winter.


  1. I love using power tools. *So* cathartic!

  2. Yep, the saw had a new chain fitted in the autumn and is going through most of the wood like butter. With noise :)