Well, it’s cold here now. And it’s time to get busy with the wood burning stove. It’s quite therapeutic to have to clean it out, lay the fire with twisty bits of newspaper and twigs, and then gradually build it up as it catches and starts to defrost the house once again. There’s been snowstorms and weather you only read about in the Bible on the island for the last couple of days so I’m not actually exaggerating.
We’ve been lucky enough to have friends who live on fincas with lots of fallen trees and own their own chainsaws, so it’s been easy enough for Ollie to take the dog into the woods for an hour, carve up some wood, deliver half to our friends and take the other half for ourselves.
Alternatively you can buy wood from the wood lady who lives in Andratx. No one knows her real name, but she’s lived in Andratx all of her life along with her husband, brother and two sons. One day she told me that she had been to Barcelona . . . .once. They sell wood, and seem to live amongst bags and bags of the stuff in their house; you can catch a glimpse of it when you knock on the door which declares ‘Lena informes aqui’. When I first arrived in Mallorca I thought that Lena was a psychic who informed inside . . . it wasn’t until the first winter came round that I realised that Lena is the Spanish word for Firewood. Doh.
In the credit crunch though, even shelling out for a bag of firewood for the paltry sum of €4.50 a bag (when you get through 3 or 4 a week) is a bit steep. So, it was back to basics last weekend when although there was wood available, there were no chainsaws working that we could lay our hands on. Off to the woods we all went, Gigi included (note Dolly having a little rest on top of the tree whilst she was off looking for twigs), to gather and saw and chop. It wasn’t long before I started to get that Little House on the Prairie feeling, and began to fantasise about living in the middle of nowhere, with just my man, my baby and the dog for company: living off the land, harvesting nuts and berries like an overgrown squirrel. We got a good enough haul and then tumbled back down the tracks to civilisation (the Renault Kangoo living up to its name as it bounced up and down over the bumps).
The back to basics feeling lasted all the way to yesterday when the weather blew up the electricity supply to our friends’s finca, and we realised that there was absolutely no way we could cope without Strictly Come Dancing, Facebook and online streaming. Although, if anyone wanted to buy us a Christmas present then we have our eye on a sexy little chainsaw at Leroy Merlins . . . .