Making faggots with a digger and a chainsaw

After a windy, windy night during which the windows rattled and the trees bent and swayed, we woke to a couple of chaps in earnest discussion outside the house. Mirinda met them when she took the girls to the forest for a muddy walk.

They were mostly concerned with Max who, they felt, was in danger of being squished. They suggested moving him a bit to the right. When asked why, they pointed to a tree which had been blown over and was leaning against the surrounding trees, defying gravity and saving the car.

Mirinda left while I worked on creating the Talking Newspaper clipped edition for tomorrow’s recording. I also kept an eye on what was happening with the tree.

There’s a lot of trees around here and, as you’d expect, there’s a lot of tree felling expertise floating around them. The two chaps took their time; double the time it took to actually fell the tree. They were very deliberate.

First up was a small digger.

It was placed alongside the house, a wide canvas strap wrapped around the bucket at the front. The end of the canvas strap was then wrapped around the angled tree. The digger moved back very slowly until the strap was taut.

There was another period of deliberation before the chap who appeared to be in charge, started up his chainsaw and gradually and carefully cut a wedge out of the base of the tree.

The weather wasn’t pleasant as they worked. The wind had died down but there was intermittent rain squalls and a bit of light snow. It wasn’t what you’d call ideal.

The wedge was kicked out of the base of the tree. I was concerned that it would kick back and take the guy’s head off but, being a man of great tree felling skill, the tree remained where it was until it was told differently.

Using the surrounding upright trees surrounding it as leverage and support, the fallen tree was then dragged backwards by the digger. There was a great wrenching sound as it came loose from its now tentative hold on the ground. The digger kept moving back until the tree, finally, fell to the ground.

The tree now rested across the road. Both men ran out and the chainsaw chap quickly cut it into manageable chunks while the digger chap hauled the chunks away. The road was very quickly cleared. They then reduced the rest of the tree to neat fireplace faggots.

It was all very dramatic. I found it difficult concentrating on my editing as they worked away. Mind you, I did manage to finish in good time.

When Mirinda returned from the forest, she parked Max across the road, outside Camilla’s place. Camilla suggested it, saying there was a second tree which might fall on him.

It was quite the exciting morning. But then work intervened (for us both) and the tree was forgotten for a while.

A little later, and as a break from all the excitement, we headed up to Norrbys Trädgåd Café for a late lunch of fish soup.

I read on the BBC News site today that there’s a continuing furore over the Fairy Tale of New York lyrics. The song that is pplayed every Christmas and loved by millions, despised by some.

Last year, radio DJ Alex Dyke reportedly said he was no longer happy about playing it. There’s been other people criticising it and saying it should be banned. The BBC has decided to use a version that has replaced a word with another word, one that makes little sense. It’s the usual hypocritical, jump on the bandwagon, guilt ridden, nonsense from Alex and general compliance from the BBC.

As usual with these things, the story talks about the numbers who argue that something is wrong. They do not count the far greater majority who either don’t care or don’t find anything wrong with the song.

Obviously, Alex Dyke has every right to say that he finds the word ‘faggot’ offensive. As am I in saying that I find his use of the surname ‘Dyke’ as equally offensive. I think he should choose something else.

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