The principal reason that I’ve been so keen to press on with my ‘To-Do’ list is that I have family coming over from the UK for Christmas and New Year and I therefore need everything to run as smoothly as possible while they’re here. I also need to be able to keep the house as warm as possible so having a good supply of wood is paramount.

I have an excellent supplier of wood who offers very good value but does not deliver so I have to pick the wood up myself using my large trailer. With the Kia still being out of commission, I needed to get the towbar that I’ve bought fitted on the C-Max so I could use that to tow it but with everything that I’ve had to deal with in recent weeks it’s just been impossible to find the opportunity to get underneath the rear of the car and find out why the rear bumper won’t come off. So that presented me with a big problem – no tow-car, no trailer, no wood.

That’s when my good friend Wim stepped in as he’s done so often in the past and offered the loan of his Daihatsu which has a tow bar fitted – and not only that, he also offered to give me a hand to get the job done this afternoon while the weather was dry, which was a big bonus. So I started the day by giving my wood store a good clear out and here’s how it looked afterwards with my saw and splitter also cleared out of the way to make getting the wood into the store easier.

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We started at around 2.00 pm and after making two trips loading the trailer fully each time, we finished just before 5.00 pm. And here’s what 3 stères of cut dry wood looked like afterwards all neatly stacked in the back of the wood store.

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I was really grateful for Wim’s help as with the two of us it took much less than half the time that it’s taken me working alone on the two previous occasions. We put the big stuff that will need splitting in the front where it’ll be easily accessible so with what I had already, I’ve now got plenty of wood to see me through the winter and beyond. In fact I’ll have quite a bit left over just as I did last year which has been a big help coming into the colder weather this year and needing to get the woodburner going.

Now I’ve got to take a close look at my splitter and find out why it’s leaking oil. I need to take the wheels off to get at the rear of the pump and for that I needed to buy some circlip pliers, which I did yesterday, so maybe I’ll be able to do that tomorrow.

There was another small setback today when one of the corner brackets securing the front panel of my trailer came off while we were driving to pick up the second load of wood due to the failure of the pop rivets holding it on. We looked for it on the way back but couldn’t find it so I’ll have to have another go again tomorrow.

It’ll be a busy day as I also need to pick up the parcel containing the parts that I ordered for the Kia from the post office at Rouffignac before mid-day. As I’ve said before, as soon as you tick one item on the ‘To-Do’ list off at least one, if not more get added. How I ever found time to work before I retired I’ll never know.

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