It is a far, far better thing that I eat now……

There is a smokiness in the air that is sending me the clear message that it’s time to start bringing in fire wood. A mountain of good, dry wood has been delivered and all that remains to be done is for me to cut each log to a suitable size for the wood burner. Our excuses, at the end of each day, for not lighting the fire , which act would serve as a declaration of the change of season, are becoming less and less convincing. Our current excuse of overwhelming tiredness,  made early in the evening, allows us to retire to our bed and its warmth whilst retaining a certain degree of yeoman hardiness. I’ve tried to encourage yeoman hardiness, during our years of country living, but my view of hardiness and a yeoman’s would make chalk and cheese appear as a mirror image of each other.

Last evening, the camel’s back was severely strained by the weight of straw placed upon it. It was clear that the time had come for a man to go to the wood pile and do what a man has got to do. If only we had such a man. In his absence it looks like I have drawn the straw that will save the camel any further discomfort. I do not share Sydney Carton’s stoicism in the face of misfortune but, to be fair, their is little similarity in our misfortunes save for a sharpened blade which, contrary to Sidney’s lot, will hopefully be employed to my advantage.

When it comes to cutting fire wood, the first cut may not be the deepest but it is, to my mind, the least demanding. Biting wind, bitter cold and driving rain are still below the horizon of the blue sea that still manages to hold sway in my summertime mindset. I shall be cutting wood as a pleasant occupation on a warm day. A change from the norm rather than a monotonous chore. In truth, all things without change become monotonous. Figs and cream are today’s peaches and cream. I had forgotten how delicious figs are and how beautiful they look and so, like an inconstant, alimentary Lothario, my roving eye has settled on the ripening beauties of Autumn to whom I should plight some troth… why waste good troth when I’m sure that there’s something even better, just around the corner, to which I would like to give a good plighting. The season is dead, long live the season.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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47 Responses to It is a far, far better thing that I eat now……

  1. margaret21 says:

    So we did well to organise our wood store before vanishing to England for a short break. It’s certainly wood-burning stove season here in Yorkshire

  2. We’re just getting our wood organised too for when we pop back from centrally heated England. I’m not a very hardy Yeoman…must dig out the electric blanket too 😉 Those figs look gorgeous. I have a huge basket full of them so I think we’ll be having this later tonight!

  3. Woodsmoke is a gorgeous smell. If I had to chop wood, I might not think so.

  4. “If only we had such a man.” Your wit does bring a smile to my face. Now get that wood chopped and then have some more figs and cream – you will feel better.

  5. This brought back memories of stacking cords of wood when I was a child. Once we stacked it, had a minor earthquake over night, stacked it again! 🙂 I do love a good fire though.

  6. You have just reminded me in the nicest possible way that I have to order some wood- thanks! Beautiful writing, as always. I didn’t eat my figs with jam, I chopped them all up and turned them into jam so that I can taste them when summer has well and truly disappeared. I will be tasting your recipe though; as usual, your photo has made me curious to try something new!

  7. cecilia says:

    Poor you.. and poor me.. ah well. Thank fully we are still warm, not hot, but still warm, I feel a long way from winter actually.. c

  8. What a truly delightful read. I must confess to a bit of a smirk though, as I sit here in Paris, with not a woodpile in sight!

  9. I’ve always watched from afar people chopping wood. Surely a fire’s nice on a cold night, but I let my furnace do the work at that time. I think it’s an activity I wouldn’t wholly mind, but since I don’t need to perform such a task, I don’t put myself through the ritual. Enjoy your fire light, though!

  10. Eha says:

    Take the said saw in hand and repeat loudly : ‘the glass is half-full not half-empty!’

  11. “There is a smokiness in the air that is sending me the clear message that it’s time to start bringing in fire wood.” What a fantastic opening line.

  12. Wonderful photo and post. Some folks around here have started up their wood-burning fireplaces as the temperature dropped below 50 Fahrenheit this evening. I am resisting and just reaching into the sweater drawer. Love the figs, on the menu for this week. Thanks!

  13. Roger, there is not one single chore you do without describing it in a poetry way…and you never leave without a “Deliciousness” to share.

  14. a perfect reward for the effort and hard work of wood chopping!

  15. Michelle says:

    Oh dear, it’s almost that time again, isn’t it? May your winter be mild.

  16. Gorgeous figs, Roger! I hope to see more of them on your site this fall.

  17. Karen says:

    I smelled the wood smoke from someone’s fireplace last night…yes, the season is upon us. I’m sure your figs made you forget about all that wood chopping. They look wonderful.

  18. Beautiful figs. We’re still a ways away from firewood, but turned off the AC last week. That was a week too early, but still.

  19. ardysez says:

    Longing for figs… had very few last year and it will be some months before we get them this year. My own tree still trying to decide if she will fruit forth. Enjoyable read, lovely photo, thank you.

  20. Pingback: It is a far, far better thing that I eat now…… | Marketing Freddy

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