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Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel, preparing for an icy week with my Birthday present to myself

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 14 January 2024

I now feel a bit of a wuss writing this as my pal Darren sends photos of the snow in Canada outside his rural retreat where it is minus 17 degrees. I am not sure if it will snow here in North Wales next week. My kids hope it does and so do I as if there is even a light dusting of global warming, the Marxist Madrassa where the Mrs works will shut down and we will enjoy her company all week. But I do know that it will be cold by Welsh standards and that an alternative to switching on all our hugely expensive gas radiators is to run a fire in the main living room where folks can snuggle up and watch mid rot on the telly.. And that brings me to my birthday present to myself, in the first photo below, a heavy splitting axe.

Not only does it split wood but I hope that taking a ten minute break from my desk each hour or so to split a few logs and bring them inside will do wonders for my blood sugar levels which, as a type two diabetic, I know to be too high. I am now off the booze, avoiding carbs, sugars and processed foods, taking meds, drinking more water and am told that 150 minutes exercise a week will do wonders especially if it helps me lose some weight. So I am hoping to do a bit more with the woodsplitting and, when it gets a bit warmer, to start gardening for half an hour a day too. Though I will not do a Woodlarks walk this year I am hoping to do more short walks with the family.

The only problem is that my log pile in the barn is running down rapidly. Fear not: I have a stack of planks and long branches to saw so I think we should last the winter.  But as my son Joshua reminds me, that is a clear warning that we ( by which he means me) must do half an hour’s wood chopping right throughout the summer as well. There are plenty of trees on the land which have fallen and which we can start to tackle.

Meanwhile, conscious that it might be too cold to head out to the barn for most of next week, I have stacked up supplies in the living room. I have also cleared space in what will be the library one day where there is an unused fireplace. My plan is to fill that with logs as well to add to the store.


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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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