Most girls will agree. The best way of getting things moving on any new job is the purchase of a brand new toy.
With the evenings starting to draw in, I’d been thinking about the wood left over from the tree felling earlier in the year. It should have been cut into logs by now. Our chainsaw, it seems, falls short of this job. Only a big boy’s machine will do. Brochures arrived thick and fast, plaid-shirted musclebound Rambo types demonstrating their wares on each and every page. Effortlessly shinning up trees, wielding all manner of high performance equipment, leaving nothing but chippings in their wake. Without doubt we had found the product required.
Within days a stack of fire wood, suitably rustic, appeared alongside the shed.
It was on Wednesday that the real trouble began, the tranquility of the garden shattered by the firing up of the chainsaw. Not so long after, the thud of something heavy falling to the ground. I follow the noise to a small clearing down by the river’s edge. There’s a horrible graunching sound as the saw comes abruptly to a halt. Stuck fast in the trunk of a tree.
Some cursing and an accusatory glare. My fault entirely, allegedly. I’ve turned up at exactly the wrong moment. Again.
Our lumberjack-in-training tied a winch to the upper part of the tree. He would attempt to pull open the trunk and Yours Truly would lift out the saw. It held fast. The winch did not. Chalk up a replacement shear pin for that. An assortment of tools starts to collect in the clearing. A club hammer, a cold chisel and a crowbar to name but three. I don’t recall Macho Man from the brochures deploying any of these. Then a strategic retreat to the patio for a coffee and a plan. What about our neighbour, Trevor, might he know what to do? Except that I could have heard him laughing from here. “Ahhhh, they don’t teach you ‘bout chainsaws ‘Up Country’..”
An old fashioned hand saw finally did the trick. A long and tedious process of cutting through the trunk from the opposite side. The tree starts to wobble and the chainsaw is free. What followed was one of those slow motion things. I could hear every creak and tear as the trunk began to fall..
Falling in my direction..
The river on two sides. Impenetrable undergrowth on the other. Thankfully the water is only a foot or so deep..
The whole canopy above my head is on the move. Surely more than one tree..
A monumental crash, a second and a third.. and then silence. Ne’er a single tweet or chirp.
We look up through a new and significant window on the sky. Unaccustomed sunlight streaming through the dust. Like a set of dominoes, not one tree but three. And should we wish to cross the river, we now have a bridge.