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Shivering in North Wales at the Welsh Hovel as my log store goes down rapidly

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 9 January 2024

The Met Office keeps on telling us all how jolly warm it is as a result of global warming. I have covered how its numbers are bodged and unreliable before but I can say without lying that, here in North East Wales, I feel bloody cold.  It is, after all winter, so no climate change there.  While the Mrs and my son Joshua are enjoying the Indian sunshine for another few days, the cats myself and little Jaya are really feeling it as the temperature, with wind chill, falls to zero

I exaggerate when I say that I think of Charles Ingalls twisting straw each day to keep the fires burning in “The long Winter” but as I head out in the freezing cold to my log-shed I think of him in the early days of that storm. And I worry that, having thought that I had three years supply of wood, the log pile is diminishing rapidly.

I work in the kitchen where there is an aga so am warm enough during the day. But during the Christmas holiday there were, understandable, demands for the woodburning stove to be on all day in the living room and so my wood pile has visibly shrunk. The Mrs burning, as normal wood, much of the kindling wood stacked in a separate pile, when I was away harvesting olives, has also left that pile looking far too small.

However, quite a few of the logs I have are too big for the stove and so as a Birthday present to myself I have invested in a splitting axe which should arrive this week. ½ an hour a day should be good exercise and also see my usable store of wood at least flatline if not start to increase.

There is also a large pile of wood from the snake barn we took down last summer and still some branches from trees removed the year before. I was meant to saw them all into logs in the summer but never got around to it. A New Year’s resolution is to clear those piles in 2024 so that I enter next winter really well stacked up.

Unless this turns into a really long winter I should be okay.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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