Last winter, we saved € 280.00 by not ordering any firewood from the local woodman; instead I invested € 120.00 in a very scary looking chainsaw and proceeded to cut down the trees in our garden. With a loud cry of timber, down went 2 huge walnut trees, 5 hazelnut trees an apple tree and I think an old pear tree. Mrs Sensible called a stop to my tree felling activities when she pointed out that the orchard was beginning to look more like a cricket field with tree stumps than the lovely orchard that someone had taken the time to plant.
On Monday I drove to the local woodman and asked him if he would deliver 20 quintale of wood (2,000 kilo) Mario the woodman agreed and said the price was €14 / quintale and he would phone me tomorrow to organise when he would deliver it.
Tuesday at around 4pm Mario called me.
Mario: Are you in?
Me: Yes here now! (In very bad Italian)
Mario: Ok I am on my way. (He also said some other things that I didn’t quite understand, mainly because he didn’t use the key words that I understand. IE: wine, grappa, food and can I buy you a drink)
I checked my wallet and counted out my money, and by stealing some money from Mrs Sensible I managed to raise €160.00 a short fall of €120.00. I jumped into my little Mini and went haring off to raid the money machine.
On the way back to the house I received another phone call from Mario.
Mario: I can’t find your house!
Me: Ok, waiting please at Gullivers Supermarket, you me I find.
Mario couldn’t find my house because my house has two completely different addresses, (see link) this problem has managed to confuse Telecom Italian, The Gas Man and DHL. Mrs Sensible and I have had one or two discussions as to which address we should use. Personal I use both; I think it’s cool to live at two different addresses at the same time.
Mario was patently waiting in the car park of Gullivers Supermarket. As I drove up to his big shiny tractor I was immediately shocked to see it wasn’t towing a trailer stacked with wood.
Me: Hello where wood is?
Mario: I will bring you the wood tomorrow; I just want to see where you live.
Me: Please speak you slowly, I understand.
Mario. TOMORROW WOOD !!
Mario arrived the following day with his big grey tractor and an enormous trailer filled overflowing with wood. The Italian words I used as he tipped the wood onto my garden are not printable here, besides I am not sure I could spell them properly.
Mario: It is difficult to calculate how much wood is in a trailer until I have weighed it on the weighbridge, so you don’t have 20 quintale, you have 26 quintale.
Me: Who erh! What?
Mario: 26 Quintale not 20 Quintale.
Me: F€##%@, &#%!@?!
Me: How cost much?
Me: &#%!@?!, F€##K
While I was searching in my pockets and my wallet for the extra money, Mario tried to reassure me that the wood was worth every penny of the €364.00 that he was demanding.
Mario: (holding a piece of wood in his hand) This piece of wood is called Rovere.
Mario: What do you call this wood in England?
Mario: Ardvood ?
Me: Yes Ardvood
Mario: (Picking up a different piece of wood) This wood is very good it is called Quercia, what do you call this in England.
Me: I was very nearly tempted to say Ardvood, instead I said Heavy Wood
Mario: Evy Vood?
Me: Yes Evy Vood
While Mario was searching in the enormous wood pile to find another piece of wood to show me, I was crying inside as I realised all this vood, erh wood would need stacking by me, helped by myself and I
Mario: Ah now this lovely piece of wood is called Bujer, look at the yellow core of the wood.
I was slightly miffed, when I realised that not only did I have to stack 2,600 kilos of wood but the money I was going to use to restock my wine cellar had vanished into Mario’s pocket.
Mario: And what do you call this piece of wood in England
Me: Cost a lot
Me: Perfect, yes Costalott!
Mario: Thank you, for telling me the English names for the different wood, next week I am delivering some wood to another English customer and now I will be able to tell him exactly what wood he is buying.