It has been windy.
Short Tony and I decide to go collecting wood in his Land Rover.
Land Rovers are the bestest transport ever. There is something about being in one – the smell, the harsh ride, the history, the Englishness, the sense that you’re riding in the purest and most uncomplicated combination of a diesel engine and two seats, the utter dependability of a won’t-let-you-down workhorse.
It won’t start so we postpone until the next day.
Collecting wood is great. We buzz round the country lanes scanning the horizon for trees that might have lost branches, then make a beeline for them, shuddering to a halt at the sight of a fallen log. Then it’s a graceful leap out of the Land Rover, some stamping, bending, bashing or sawing, chuck it in the back and we’re off again. We have constant big smiles on our face.
We really do make our own entertainment around here.
Our modus operandi is to not spend too long in one place. Neither of us knows much about UK wood law, and we don’t want a man to appear and start shouting at us.
For overseas readers I should explain: Englishmen can be divided neatly into two categories. There are those who are utterly self-confident and direct (probably the descendants of the people that put the Empire together). And there are those who live their lives in perpetual anxiety that if they do something slightly different from the norm, a man will appear and start shouting at them.
We continue on our quest, the Butch and Sundance of arboriculture.
“This bit won’t break. Shall we leave it?”
“Let’s try driving over it in the Land Rover.”
The wood survives intact, but a bit of Land Rover falls off. Short Tony shrugs, and sticks it in the back with the logs.