Honour amongst thieves*

On my feet all day. No lunch. Heading home, salivating at the thought of left-over yorkies, drenched in onion gravy washed down with a lot of tea. In a triumph of mind over matter avail myself of the rented garage, on the other side of the village. Trudge home.

Promptly get a tip off that there’s logs to be had.

Given that in the 20 minute turnaround from finding the felling to returning with transport over half of it had ‘disappeared’ (the majority into the boot of a Mercedes Estate) I’m sceptical that there’ll be anything but twigs left. Oh but Common’s just round the corner, just a quick butchers then. Amazingly there’s a still a fair pile. Shoulder a few thin lengths, stagger home. Old Harry’s Game will be on in a mo, then it’s Archer time. I fancy listening to both from the warm embrace of a bath.

Pot of tea, yorkshire puds, a biscuit or three and I find myself stomping back to the garage. It’s inevitable, it’s a compulsion, fuelled by the guilt of being lazy-grassphopper last year..

In the nick of time, just parking up and a builders flatbed (I’ll be selling these on to dozey locals in day or two) rolls up… Hurl myself out of the car. A confident click on the petzel, I’m prepared. Nadda… stuff keyring torch inelegantly in gob and stumble around in the slightly less dark, hurling logs at the car, with scant regard for what’s left of the upholstery.

Hang on. The guy in the pick up is waiting…. time… stands… still….. he’s letting me have turn?!?! I got there first and the shadowy figure I can see in the cab is a gentleman? Or he’s confident that I’m not going to get much in a Moggy?

Whatever, I’m grateful… but Moggy’s were the fore-runners to the Tardis (just check the fine print in the drivers manual and press the special button) and I’ve got a bow-saw.

And he waited… quite a while but I left the rounds. Shoulder was protesting, we’d run out of space and muscle. Wobble carefully across the potholes as he gently backs up in the darkness.

Time passes, unloaded, neat stack out the back and the guilt chip kicks in. The car really should be kept away from those traffic-warden eyes that have been watching all week. Stop off to buy a bottle, I’ve earnt it. The ‘roll my own’ type in Budgens passes comment. Catch my reflection in the glass. Wide-eyed with exhaustion, hair hedge-backwards, tatty Barbour (not a fashion statement a necessity for a pony-mad 12 year okay) wellies two sizes too big, face streaked with bark stains filthy hands… Stone the crows, it’s Eddy Grundy starring back…

*locals are allowed to take felled wood (providing they doesn’t turn up with power tools, or drive their 4×4’s across the common to get it). I’m not entirely sure where the Parish Council stands re selling it on but horses for courses.. (assuming I get there first that is).

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