This is not, as you might think, one of the deeper dungeons in the Tower of London. It is our woodshed . . . the scene of one of the most important labours of our lives, keeping warm.

This morning I had the great pleasure of seeing and reading an exquisite photographic essay that Nancy Campbell has posted on her website on the subject of The Woodpiles of Denmark.

I immediately felt that I might grab my camera and see what I could offer by way of an alternative vision. In Denmark, the building of a woodpile is clearly a matter of civic pride or, at a personal level, the outward sign of some very tidy minds!

I have to say that things are not quite like that in this part of the Lower Wye Valley. An altogether less formal approach holds sway . . . as can be seen below.

We are, of course, very much at the end of the log-burning season at he moment and much of what can be seen here are logs that I have tried to split . . . and failed.


 . . . and the woodshed is almost empty.

What has to happen now is that we telephone a couple of burly and brilliant young men who come with their saws and a trailer and their boundless energy and set to translating trees around the place which have blown down during the year, shed branches, grown so big as to overcrowd and reduce light (and thereby have earned a squirt of red paint from my can) . . . into a full woodshed ready for the new year.

All I can now show you, therefore, is a selection of natural sculptures . . . or victims waiting for drawing and quartering.






Some recent roofing work has happily provided us with a generous stack of what we call ‘easy-burn’ wood





Finally, and nothing to do with wood, is what I reckon to be one of the most arresting photographs of my career. I should, however, correct that to read ‘my camera’s career’, for I have to admit that it was taken ‘by mistake’ as I stumbled over a small piece of wood to take a capture a larger (above)!

I did help it on a bit in Photoshop but I am thinking of letting the camera go out by itself from now on.