Mario the woodman

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.

My orchard was rapidly becoming to resemble a cricket field

My orchard was rapidly resembling a cricket field

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.


Me: OK

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.

Jenga, the wooden puzzle that will give you hours or even days of fun

Jenga, the wooden puzzle that will give you hours or even days of fun

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?

Mario: €364.00

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.

Me: OK

Mario: What do you call this wood in England?

Me: Hardwood

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

Mario: Costalott?

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.

66 thoughts on “Mario the woodman

  1. You must be super fit after all that stacking, and wine drinking!

    Hey, I’ve got 2 addresses in my new home also, and it created troubles with the phone and internet. I thought of you, fondly. And, drank more red wine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So far we have been lucky in our cottage in Finland that we could just get our own wood by cutting down some trees. I also have the feeling that my dad went from time to time to other properties to “acquire” some trees…
    I wonder just how many trees I had to saw, cut and later stack, just too many 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is every expensive wood… Perhaps you can find other ways to use it, to compensate for the price? 😉 Hahaha. Make wood sculptures and sell them (tourist prices of course). 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Once I saw the stumps and the pitch from the wicketkeepers squat I had to read it – one of my alter egos being LeggieLefty who writes a blog devoted to cricket ( yes, sadly he is utterly mad about the game and played it well into his ( my ? ) dotage ).

    See, but now, you have the amazing potential of creating wood sculptures and letting loose your artistic self. Just drink lots of vino and go let it all out….


  5. You know that you are going to be studying Italian a long time until they get to the conditional tense…would have, should have, could have. I’m just starting it now. It’s really not that bad but I seem to have more dedication (and fewer alcoholic beverage breaks) than you seem to have.
    Si dovrebbe avere divertimento impilamento quel legno.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I do envy you your lovely pile of wood. I have yet to part with 360 euros for our 6 “stères” of white oak, which we manage to burn in record time then end up dressed like the Michelin man until we find someone who can deliver some more.
    We have two 150 year-old cedar trees in front of our house. We call them the blocks of flats – they’re full of wildlife all the time so it’s be a shame to chop them down, otherwise I’d call you around with your chainsaw and pay you in glasses of wine.


  7. I seriously laughed out loud while reading this! My train mates should subscribe to your blog because they’d understand why I crack up unexpectedly!
    I am sorry you have to do all the dirty work yourself…But I sense another blog post will come from the log stacking experience !!


  8. Costalot got to be too much for me and I had a welder put a large piece of sheet metal in the flue. I bought an old Dearborn heater that was in excellent working condition and hooked it up to the gas jet that was used to light the wood fires. I have been enormously relieved and happy as a lark that I no longer need to carry in wood and scoop out the ashes. I am too old now anyway to carry in wood and gee the house is so much cleaner and less smelly.

    I feel for you Pecora- really I do. If only you had access to piped in gas, you’d have it made and sitting with your feet propped up and drinking more wine. You’d also have more money. 🙂


  9. By the way, some years ago when I depended on wood for heat it was always delivered in a pile and we had to stack it ourselves. This was in the high desert of California (yes, we needed heat, it snowed there in winter) and we had to contend that possibly rattle snakes had crawled in there (the wood pile) while we were looking the other way. So your job could have been (conditional tense by the way) much more difficult.


  10. Pingback: Winter is nearly here! | Englishman in Italy

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