Winter is nearly here!

Wood situation

The wood situation is critical

This morning on Facebook I noticed that MM from Multifarious Meanderings has just had her winter wood supply delivered. We on the other hand have been burning the wood that Mario the woodman delivered since the beginning of October. This is a little worrying as winter doesn’t officially start in Italy until the 21st of December and it is doubtful that our current stock of wood will last us through the winter. After all we only bought 26 quintali (just over two and a half tons of wood!!)

The red arrow will become clear later.

The reason for the red arrow will become apparent later.

When the wood arrives you need to stack it somewhere dry and in such a way that it won’t fall over. When I ordered our wood I gave Mario clear and simple instructions, I asked for dry wood that would fit my little wood burning heater. I also asked him to cut the logs the same size so that a girl in a frock or even an Englishman could stack it.

The fun way to stack wood

A girl in a frock stacking wood.

Either Mario didn’t understand my version of Italian or he has a great sense of humour, because amongst the pile of wood he dumped on my lawn were twigs, sticks and several bits of wood that looked like the hind leg of a donkey.

Thanks Mario

Thanks Mario

Mario realised that I was English and had probably never before attempted to stack two and a half tons of wood. To be honest he was almost correct, last year when we needed wood I simply wandered down the garden with my chainsaw and cut a tree down.

The previous two year, I had the wood dropped into the garage and just left it in a big pile. When we lived in Borgo San Martino, we only had a little courtyard and I (with the help of Mrs Sensible) stacked 10 quintale (one ton). I know a wife shouldn’t really help with the stacking of wood, but the delivery man had dropped the wood in the middle of the road completely blocking it to traffic.

Mario showed me how to stack the wood

Mario showed me how to stack the wood

Good old Mario showed me how to stack the wood by laying the first four pieces. As he drove away in his tractor I went off in search of a glass of wine.

It took me two exhausting and pain filled days to stack the wood thankfully it didn’t rain on me. I would like at this stage to show you a picture of my wood stacking. This will be valuable information for MM, unless of course she is just going to leave the wood in a heap or dump it in her garage.


Interlocked to perfection


MM, look how the wood is all interlocked. It is absolutely amazing!! You will notice that I chose a very small area of my wood pile as an example of my fine Italian wood stacking. This is because the rest of the wood pile is a little like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And please notice how I managed to incorporate an object d art.

A very important box

A very important box

I know all of you think I am just a little eccentric as every Englishman should be, or maybe bordering on madness.  But may I remind you about the red arrow in the second photograph? It points to a hole in the wall where the scabby cats enter their little house. Yes our cats live outside in a little three by three apartment.

My wonderful wood pile was going to close off their doorway so I inserted a wooden box and a secret tunnel for the cats.

Here is one of our cats, the terrible Headache.

Headache a beautiful looking cat, superb mouser but has a couple of strange idiosyncrasies….

As you can see, it didn’t take long for Headache to find the new entrance to his house. If anyone want’s to adopt Headache please leave me a message below and we will send him via Fedex anywhere in the world.

46 thoughts on “Winter is nearly here!

  1. Mr Sweary ( my sometimes Belov-ed) built a bazzin’ woodshed where we stack just as you do. We buy in wood to be left out in palettes for 2 years worth of weathering before use. Don’t you find the stink rather unpleasant? Lots of our wood has woodworms so we can’t keep a quaint logbasket in the house. All in all it’s dirty work for someone used to central heating as a reliable source of comfort.


    • Hi Connie, I love Italy but I do miss warm carpets and affordable central heating. Our boiler is bigger than my car it sound like a jet taking off as it sucks in huge amounts of gas. This year our wood is woodworm free the only danger is coming across deadly biting spiders or wasps that are sleeping the winter off in the wood pile.


  2. Wonderful little entrance you made. I am just glad that I don’t have to stack wood this year however next summer I will have to go to my parents cottage and there some madness will await me for at least a week of cutting and stacking wood

    Liked by 1 person

    • Last year I cut down trees from the garden. We lost a couple of walnut trees and some fruit trees. I was under orders not to chop any more down so I bought and stacked the wood this year.


  3. Thank you so much for the helpful guide to wood stacking, PN. I am most impressed by your skills and think you should come here and stack it with PF. Last year I stacked it myself. I was very proud of it, it took me hours. PF came home from work,grunted and cast a dubitative eye over it. Apparently I don’t have the knack of not leaving any gaps. The following morning he took it all apart and did it again. I put this down to an unhealthy addiction to Tetris – he plays it on his phone on the bus every day. I have therefore decided that it is better to leave the wood where it is (currently in a huge heap in the rain) so that PF can play quietly for a few hours this weekend, with the added bonus of no tools being needed.
    You cat looks much cuter than mine. If mine was human, he’d be a teenaged Goth with a ring in his nose.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all, those hinds of donkey legs, in just the right craftsman’s / woodworker’s hands, would make marvelous cutting / presentation boards …and secondly, I hope this cat apartment of yours, in which their passage way, which is rather ingenious I might add, is not blocked when it does indeed get truly cold and is free of bugs and snakes as it looks very snaky…what with all that wood lying about—I would take “Headache” but I already have two precious lambs, who are mostly inside rather than outside and I fear I would lose my husband should I add one more to the brood–especially one who only meows in Italian as my husband only knows english meows of which already irritates him 🙂
    And don’t feel too badly for Mrs. S stacking wood–I’ve stacked many a load—great exercise to firm up ones biceps and other ceps 🙂
    Happy stacking—have a little vino break, you deserve it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Heehee ! Brings back memories ! I have a Roberto here in Spain. In my previous house he backed his wood laden truck into the garage, emptied the load onto the garage floor. After emptying my wallet, he gunned the truck out of the garage demolishing 2 strip lights and the top frame of the garage door, forgetting that without a load of wood the truck was 2+ feet higher. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Here in Brandizzo, near Torino, we have a “stuffa,” which burns wood pellets. It heats only one room – the rest of the house is brass monkeys.


    • Our stuffa burns logs and just like you the rest of the house is freezing. We move little portable heaters around when we go upstairs.

      The first year hear we used the gas central heating, well until the first bill for € 987.00 (Oct & Nov) fluttered through the letter box. I thought it was an estimate, but it wasn’t.


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