'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

Oh, I’m A Lumberjack

Being humble villagers J and I are entitled, along with our neighbours, to purchase our winter firewood direct from the chaps at the local forestry department’s timber yard at a huge discount! We paid up-front a couple of months back and three days ago we came home from hospital to find this lot sitting outside the gate.

village firewood entitlement

Now, considering that I had just had my ticker check-up and J had had injections to help free-up her frozen shoulder, you might think that ‘getting in a chap to do the work’ would be the order of the day. Not so! Village life doesn’t work like that, especially if you value your street cred! Let’s face it, we have neighbours our age and some ten years or more older who are still out doing their thing with tractors, billhooks, cows and sheep, etc.  village woman1And they never walk back empty handed, they always have a load of fodder or half a tree over their shoulder. I mean, old Veli still gets sent up the trees to harvest the olives and he’s so old he doesn’t have a birth certificate!

So, village cred starts with a bit of dress sense – when we work we look the part. J dons one of her scarves and does the fetching and carrying just like any good village wife should do. I’m working on the ‘following ten paces behind’ bit – give it a little time! I don my working togs – old, worn shirt with holes and baggy cotton trousers that has J calling me ‘Rhinoceros B@!!@cks’! That’s true, I’m not making it up!

'village lady' at work

village lady hard at it

Next comes tools and the need to look like you know what you are doing because every neighbour who passes will stop to chat and assess how we are going along.

chain saw work

Boffer pretending he knows where it is at

chain saw

You can see their eyes taking it all in, usually followed by nods of approval if we’ve got it right or chuckles as they drive away if we haven’t. Finally, there is the need for ‘greasepaint’ in the form of sweat and grime – we usually have plenty and then some!

end of day one

end of day one

These past three days have been hard work reducing more than two tons of timber to fireplace sized bits and stacking them away in the wood store. Our fingers can barely hold a spoon and our bones and muscles ache.

wood pile

satisfaction at job jobbed!

Despite that we both feel pretty good (for our age). Tomorrow we are off with the local walking group for a gentle, season-opening ramble to the hot springs for a soak followed by a barby and a boat ride back to Dalyan. Then, on Monday we are wandering off to Burdur for a few days with a detour to stock up on some ‘vino collapso’.

Finally, here’s a bit of video if you’ve managed to get this far without dozing off. Taken on day three we are both showing signs of losing it – wandering about in a bit of a daze. I love the bit where J demonstrates her outstanding spacial awareness – we still can’t remember what we were looking for! J loves my display of sartorial elegance – Rhinos beware! The soundtrack is John Surman’s ‘Caithness To Kerry’ track from the album ‘Upon Reflection’ (ECM Records) – as he is family I don’t expect to pay royalties. Enjoy!

Woodcutter’s Ball2 from Alan Fenn on Vimeo.

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü where we are still ‘in with the in-crowd’!

18 thoughts on “Oh, I’m A Lumberjack

  1. We did two tons of pine, and then 3 tons of olive/ ‘mountain wood’ just like you two. I bought a splitting axe online, and I am chagrinned to find that I can hardly lift the thing. But it’s so lovely to have the heat from the woodburner gently easing the back muscles that I knackered to be able to feed the woodburner. There’s a snag in the logic somewhere …

    1. Hi, Deri! You Canuks are tough old birds – five tons – jeez I feel like a total wimp! Totally agree about the warped logic – we had ‘our man’ deliver a ton of mixed pine and meşe (scrub oak), it was perfectly cut and cost 415 lira – compared with two tons for a subsidised 300 lira it had to be ‘sleeves rolled up!’

  2. Serious village cred…. Ours comes ready cut and there is a man who carries it up our drive for us so we only need to put it away.
    Hilary has huge sympathy for other people with no spatial sense whatsoever (never understood the left and right thing or what the difference is supposed to be). And Ashley wants to know if you got the workbench locally. He misses his.

  3. I think you should be very proud of your selves and your all set up for winter now, enjoy your few days of relaxation you deserve it.

  4. We city slickers are quite impressed. Our own muscles and joints are aching in solidarity with the J and A team. You shall reap your reward when the weather turns cool. Wish we could join you by the comforting fire.

  5. Beautiful job well done! Loved the video, you both look great and did a beautiful job – enjoy that well deserved break and the weather for us – I see you’re in t-shirts still, how I wished to be there 🙂
    Cok selamlar, Ozlem

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