Now we are chopping in more ways than one…

We are still clearing up the fallout from Storm Doris here. As I hope you can see in the picture below, I offer an example of one of the many trees that have fallen down / been uprooted / now lean over rather spectacularly.

See the majestic oak having a little lie down...
See the majestic oak having a little lie down…

Our neighbour has invited us to chop up the tree for firewood, which is much appreciated, and you know what they say about chopping your own wood warming you twice. So last Wednesday, Mike took out his trusty chainsaw and lopped off limbs, whilst I chopped them into more manageable pieces and then threw them in careful stages down the hill. Once we were about 10 feet from the road, Mike moved Max, our motorized wheelbarrow, to the closest spot (just behind the yellow grit box) and we took it in turns to test our hand/eye coordination by lobbing logs into the barrow whilst the other stood guard for oncoming traffic, and carefully dealt with any lousy shots by moving those logs swiftly into the barrow.

Since last Saturday, we are proud to number amongst our ‘regulars’ some chaps working on the local railway lines. Doris caused a landslip that obstructed the line, and chaps in orange coats were shipped in to shift the detritus. We understand there has been a considerable amount of consultation between managers and engineers as to exactly what needs to be done to rocks now very close to, but not on, the tracks. As a result the chaps are working thirteen days straight – and it looks like we have become their staff canteen! They are an absolutely super group and we are enjoying sorting out their all-day breakfast / burgers / paninis to keep their strength up, and are now well practised in producing large cappucinos.

After my Welsh class on Friday, I drove to Bangor to meet with Ian Sturrock and select some Welsh orchard trees. After considerable consultation, we selected one each of Bardsey Apple, Seek No Further, Morgan Sweet and another with a name I can’t recall, plus a Snowdon Queen pear. Mike has dug the holes, and I hope to plant these tomorrow, which is forecast to be a dry day here.

What can I say?  Surely every blog needs a photo of a jar of marmalade?!
What can I say? Surely every blog needs a photo of a jar of marmalade?!

We are now up to batch six for the traditional marmalade, and have finished a seventh – our first ‘thick cut’. We tried to make a shred-less version yesterday but sadly this one did not meet our usually high standards (caused by us forgetting all about it until 30 minutes after we should have) and it is now languishing in the bottom of the food waste bin.
And today, we spent the morning in the cafe (as Sunday and Monday are usually Jane’s days off) and, in between times, just tweaked the house in preparation for a visitor from the insurance company. At the least, we wanted to be sure all fire exit doors were closed. We have been looking forward to his visit as only one company was prepared to quote to insure these premises, and their premium was far higher than we were anticipating (by a factor of 2 or 3 times). Long story short, the chap didn’t particularly wish to see the inside. Rather, he asked us loads of questions and left says the company had logged us as a hotel (which we will be one day), but in his opinion we are currently a cafe with owners resident on site. We are kind of hoping that this will result in a reduction in the premium and it looks like, so long as we keep our ‘hot working’ under control, and don’t try to install a sauna or gym, we should find it stays a little lower until such time as we start offering accommodation.
You live and learn….or at least, I hope we do as it would be sad not to learn a little as we live.