Country Living – Winter’s chores

Winter is coming and I am not ashamed to say that I am a complete “Sooki la la” when it comes to the cold. Puffer jackets are my preferred mode of attire, along with my annual Mother’s Day present of ugg boots. It pains me that all the really warm and supa cool jackets are so expensive as the cold has no boundaries. We buy ours in the peak of summer when we can buy them for up to 70 per cent off, this then makes them affordable and they also double as a Christmas present!

Our main method of home heating is our wood fire. My big old house is bloody freezing but my lounge room is tiny so it gets toasty warm in there. Everybody in my house loves to be warm, but it seems everybody is allergic to wood when asked to bring it in. My husband is akin to some sort of firewood mafia. He irrationally believes that none of us are really cold and that we only light the fire so we can watch him split wood.

This year, Good Friday heralded our annual family “wood splitting and stacking day” – not something we all look forward to I can assure you! Prior to the day, one of our neighbours Mr Perry Wilkin fells some of our dead pines and cuts them into rings for us. He is very handy with a chainsaw. This year, my husband allocated myself and my daughter Saba as chief “carters and stackers” with himself and the rest of my mob on the splitting machine.

My first load to the shed was a complete disaster. Trying to stack neatly in a hurry and hurl them up above my shoulders was simply not my forte. Panic set in, what would happen if the stack fell over? I would never hear the end of it! Suddenly, my thoughts were reaching fever pitch, the reality that I had been dealt the raw end of this “wood splitting gig” had hit home. I jumped in that little Noddy truck and “zoomed” across the farm as fast as its little wheels would carry me. The whole time thinking my husband had tried to get one over me – “I don’t think so sunshine!”

I reached the wood stockpile and jumped out of the truck waving my hands like a mad woman possessed, yelling to my husband “back away from the wood splitter”. I thought surely this machine was not rocket science to operate?

So, on that machine I stayed for the next seven hours. By the time the next morning had rolled around, I could hardly move or get out of bed, I was so sore. I kept thinking “crickey woman, you need to go join a gym!” However, with all the  “hoo-hah” done and dusted, it was such a  comforting sight to look at all that wood in the shed, tucked away nice and dry, and waiting to keep my family warm for another winter. Give me a wood fire any day folks.