Caught by the River

Shadows & Reflections – Nick Small

Nick Small | 17th December 2013


In which, as the year comes to its end, our friends and collaborators look back and share their moments:

No significant births or deaths in the family (touch wood), no major dramas and, actually, not much to write home about. It has been a fairly unremarkable year. After a few years with too much death and drama, I’m quite content with that.

One change in our lives up on the Pennine tops feels especially significant as I write, with an almighty hoolie blowing outside, has been the fitting of a wood-burning stove into our previously Spartan fireplace. It’s a Burley Brampton and I can heartily recommend it without any financial incentive from the manufacturers. Not only has this brought about a dramatic reduction in our expenditure with our gas supplier (thieving robbing so and sos) it has thrust me into the world of firewood.

Unfortunately, the chunk of forest that we are lucky enough to own is a couple of thousand miles away in Lapland. So the quest for cheap or, preferably, free firewood is somewhat closer to home. There’s something very satisfying about taking felled trees, sawing and chopping, then stacking to season stove friendly chunks, all in the noble pursuit of sticking it to the Big 6. Reducing our carbon footprint is a bonus. Wielding an axe has become part of the weekly routine. It’s primal, earthy and a very definite connection with nature.

Amazingly, whilst writing this, next year’s firewood has just materialised in the shape of a neighbour’s tree, brought down by the aforementioned hoolie. 2013, not a bad year at all.

The Cribs – Payola (I’m often late to the party)
TOY – What Goes On (ditto)