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14th January

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Philip drove back to collect more wood in the morning. In fact there wasn’t much left worth buying, but it was a bit awkward as we’d asked and been offered 5 cubic metres. An argument broke out between the couple and we were then offered their ready split logs which were in a neat pile near their house. Every log split with an axe. Of course we felt bad about buying their wood which was the product of a couple of days labour but there was little choice. Firewood is a whole science, we are supposed to avoid burning pine, but do as we had a huge Douglas fir that came down in the garden a couple of years ago. Oak and beech are the best, but they should be seasoned for 2 years, after 2 years they give out progressively less heat. An expert could look at a log and know what he’s getting, but we can’t. I spent the afternoon throwing the logs out the van and stacking them on the other side of the garage.

The conservatory chaps made good progress; virtually the whole frame is in place now. Next week they’ll measure all the dimensions between the sections and cut the glass accordingly, but it all has to be taken down again to get the glass in piece by piece. We spent a couple of hours pacing the virtual conservatory and arguing about how to furnish it. Rooms always look much smaller when they are furnished, so we’ll have to be careful. I want plenty of room for plants.

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