The Trials & Tribulations Of An Amateur Lumberjack

When it comes to stockpiling wood, you've got to give the Swiss their props - but their majestic mounds are not so easy to replicate in Lancashire...
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The Trials & Tribulations Of An Amateur Lumberjack

Not long ago, quite recently in fact, I wrote about log piles, attachment to ego, energy status, the perfect log pile and why it makes such a difference to feeling like a man.

Well, I was lucky enough to visit a friend in Switzerland recently - and if there's anything they do know over there, it's how to make the perfect wood pile. Neat at the front, even neater at the back, they have taken stacking wood to another level entirely. I fancied a go.

So when I returned to more familiar climes, I had a dabble at knocking up my own perfect, Swiss log pile. I spent seven hours neatly tying in the corners, leaning in each log, like a dry stone waller ties in rocks. As you can see from the photo above, it turned out quite excellent – maybe not totally Swiss but I'm happy it’s not so anally perfect as I am from Lancashire, not Swissland.

Yep, drink it in. Take a long look. That, my friend, is bloody neat – particularly if you have seen anything else I normally do.

Ever since, I have been proudly gazing through my kitchen window at this pile of pristine logs. I booked a mini bus to bring over family to take a look. I flew over a mate from Ireland. At breakfast, when I pop home for lunch, and now its light in the evenings, at tea time, I stared at my beautiful pile. I have sent pictures of it to my closest friends. I even put a roof on it with old roof tiles. Dead proud. Felt good. My friend C also made a pile of logs next to mine, but it was nowhere near as good, even though it was three times as long. In short, very messy, very wobbly.

Anyway one week later, when the wood was really starting to smell like it was drying (in true Swiss style), I had some work done in the garden. I told this big burly farmer chap Josh to "keep well away from my wood piles" please.

"Don’t worry if I knock ‘em over I’ll put ‘em back up again", he said.

"No, I don’t want you to do that please. All I want you to do is keep your enormous clumsy digger well away from my hard work."

So, this afternoon after much toil, a large tree had to be moved across open ground, from one side to the other. This seven tonne totem was delicately suspended under the bucket of Josh’s huge digger. It moved this way and that, swaying like a pendulum. Then it all went wrong, swaying far too close to my piles of newly stacked wood. Narrowly missing C’s long stack, it leant far too much left and dived into the ground - obliterating my seven hour Swiss pile. Oh, seven bloody hours!


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