The Exile Files

Raging Against the Outrageous. Laughter and Insanity Abound.

Give us the tools…

Posted by Exile on October 17, 2020

..And we’ll do the job.

The job today was removing a couple of trees from my hedge in front of the house. I had help. My grandson, Mikkel, 9 years old.
See, I believe you have to teach them more than just their ABC, so instead of just having him watch me cut the whole lot down, I gave him a 12 inch electric chain saw and a little instruction in its use. I showed him how to cut vertically and horizontally and then gave him charge of the means of destruction. He took to it like a duck to water. I had him cut all the obstruction away from the main trunk of the first tree and he went at it like a trojan. Wood chips and sawdust flying all around him. I kept a wary eye on him, stopped him if it got anywhere near dangerous and was never more than a few feet away from him. He worked at it for ten or fifteen minutes and the job was done. I tackled the main trunk and we were soon done with the first felling.

The second tree was buried a bit deeper in the hedge, Not easy to get to. Being a bit diplomatic about it, I asked the youngster if I could have a go at getting this one down? “Yes.” he said and so I did.

DSCN0011We dragged the debris into the garden and then went for a cup of tea, or in his case, a big bottle of orangeade. Refreshed and ready again we returned to the garden. We were going to have to transport most of this wood to the recycling centre. The smaller stuff would go through the wood chipper and on to my compost heap. We set about breaking the branches and trunks into manageable pieces. More sawing then, which pleased the lad no end. I held the branches, he cut them up. He was getting more confident now and the work went quickly. Here’s a picture of him doing just that… and yes, he is using that saw like a pro.

Having finished with that, we stretched a tarpaulin out in the boot of the car and loaded the logs and other large bits into it. Then it was off to the dump. Twice done and that was over. All we had left now was the thinner branches and twigs which would be milled to bits in the wood chipper. So far so good. More tea and orangeade. I smoked a cigarette too, but Mikkel didn’t want one…

My old wood chipper has served me well over the last 20 years. I have been having trouble with it lately but I reckoned it would still be up to the job. Having plugged it in, it refused to start and despite my inspection and attempts at repair, it wouldn’t run. To quote the famous Star Trek “Bones”, it’s dead Jim. I pronounced it so at 15:00 hrs.
Mikkel looked a bit disappointed. His face was clouded by concern and consternation. “Can you afford a new one Grandad?”, he asked. “I might, son. We’d better go and see if we can find one locally on the internet.”

We did. Several, in fact. We read the descriptions of three or four and compared prices and availabiltiy. We decided on the one nearest to us and so off we went to the hardware store. Not the biggest and probably not the best, but it was easily affordable and big enough to suit my needs. The lad doesn’t know that I have a reserve of what I call “silly money” which allows me to buy what I need, or want, in that order. He knows I’m on a pension!

We brought the thing home and got it assembled. He helped. Eager to get it going. Which it soon was. Mikkel calls these things “blenders”, which tickles my funny bone no end. And so he went at it again, feeding long Elderberry branches into the top of the machine and laughing at the resulting noise and effect. It took several emptyings and my compost heap grew considerably in the run of the next hour.
Finally it was all done.

We cleaned up, cleaned the chain saw, drained the oil and put it away. The new chipper went into the woodshed, where the old one had lived. All the hand tools were returned to the shed and by then it was getting dark. The sweeping up will have to wait. As the lad said, if it wasn’t for the old wood chipper breaking down, we would have been finished with it all.


He’s coming along nicely.

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