The before and after of one aspect of winter work here at Le Ripe: stacking wood. The arrival of the truck of wood is often eventful. Sometimes we only realize that Checchucci has come with his load when we hear the incredible thundering rattle as three tons/tonnes of seasoned wood clatters to the ground right outside the furnace room. On other occasions, Checchucci calls us for help to get up or down the access drive - which has two slopes.
This year the slope up towards the house had been soaked by days of rain. It churned to mud as soon as he tried to drive up, so he had to back down again and asked for bundles of twigs to spread over the mud and provide some purchase. All we had was my bundles of denuded lavender twigs, thriftily preserved for light kindling. The lavender saved the day and a delightful perfume rose about, a whiff of summer, as Checchucci's truck lurched and shuddered back up the slope...
For an amusing - and informative - article about the Norwegians' fascination with firewood see here.