Sunday, October 3, 2021


This weekend I had a visit from my nephew Ivor and his partner, Laurie. At 23, these two are a going concern. They've finished university, Ivor in Engineering and Laurie in Biochemistry, they're both a year into their respective professional careers, and they are already homeowners. I was beginning to doubt I'd ever see either of them again, because I know how time consuming home ownership is, especially in the first year. But they decided they needed a break from tearing up broadloom, painting walls, sanding floors and sweeping, so they came to Five Acres to enjoy the kind of work that consumes our time in the country: chainsawing trees, hauling and stacking firewood, splitting logs, falling dead asleep at ten p.m., then getting up and repeating the process the following day. Their final act last night was to finish building the Holzhausen. It only needed one more foot of height to complete it, but I was only too happy to unload the responsibility onto them, so they trucked a trailer load of logs up from the island, split them, and added the top layer to the Holzhausen. Last Friday, my firewood delivery man, Peter, arrived with his dump truck and deposited a bushcord of seasoned ash logs in my driveway. He looked admiringly at my Holzhausen and congratulated me on the job I'd done. I didn't let him look at it for too long, lest he notice that it was more oval than round, but I was careful to mention that it was my first ever Holzhausen, and he seemed duly impressed. Ivor and Laurie have headed for home now, but the memory of their visit will keep me warm for a long time. They took down two trees on the island: one a very straightforward job and one, a silver maple, that was an absolute beast of a tree, having grown at an alarming angle. And here's the Holzhausen. It's as tall as Ivor, though not nearly as handsome.

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