Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Gathering wood for the woodburner

Today after some admin' tasks, breakfast and house tidying, I ventured to the Bristol Wood Recycling Project, a venue that is always good for a bit of a poke about. Everyone there is friendly and positive and it is also overlooked by platform 15 of Bristol Temple Meads , where the 125s often leave for London Paddington, so it's a double winner every visit.

With a solstice tomorrow (at 14.21 GMT), thoughts as well as evenings are becoming just that little bit crisper and I am starting to slowly take from the woodpile that has sat minding its own business all across spring and summer. To eke that fuel out, I thought I would visit BWRP and take advantage of the free wood pile. You can go along and dismantle pallets and some decently hefty offcuts for yourself and they politely ask you to consider making a donation or volunteering some time - it is no more obligatory than that.  I thought an hour spent at lunchtime would be fun, to see what I could gather as kindling and top-up wood for the deployment of my own labour and a donation. The selection was great with some serious woodburner potential!

A burn movie to follow but easily a week's evenings of heat for my lunchtime labour.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Isaiah 2:4 - on a Thursday!

Last week I had a very grand day indeed. It took place  on a weekday when I had the opportunity to visit Goodrich and stay with mum and dad. Boris dog was along too, as his mummy was in London for the day - too long to be left on his own.  I was already pencilled in for sitting duties but in a magic coming together, I combined my hound duties with this:

Hosted by a farm in Goodrich, this was the epic and exciting 2016 ploughing match of the Llanwarne Agricultural Improvement Society and their Ploughing Society! It was on a Thursday in mid September and the day totally lucked out to be more like July. Entry was £4 and worth every penny.

I loved it!

I thought I knew what the match would entail but there was so much more than I had anticipated.

The programme was full of interesting detail about all the different ploughing styles to be judged. At the most basic, each ploughman (or woman) has five hours to plough the allotted strip as slowly or as quickly as desired. No help is allowed beyond setting out the three copping sticks.  The results are judged on neatness and agricultural merit. There were horse-drawn classes and classes for tractors pre-1974 and pre-1959.

Attendees came from all over the UK - it's a really tight little scene and everyone knows everyone else. I watched the current UK champion and a chap who had been champion a hatful of times. Horses, ploughs, tractors old and new, harvesters, threshers, old tools and all manner of interesting stuff and people.  A very fine Summer day, and I found out all about Oat Seed Furrows which are very specific indeed.

Pictures and videos are below: