Monday, September 27, 2010

Does it matter when you are dead?

We had out first fire last night. It was not really cold enough but Melissa is visiting and she feels the cold so we lit a roaring blaze and the cats basked in front of it. It was sort of a trial run in celebration of my massive pile of wood.

This morning of course the cats were sitting in front of the silent and quiet fire at dawn waiting for it to come to life - but I have told them they really have to wait until it is really cold.

I have complained in previous years about the difficulty of getting firewood in to the apartment. To illustrate this I quote from my Blog of 9 March 2009

“When I get to the wood department I load the trolley – as I did today – with 18 packets of wood. Each contains 5 ‘logs’ and each weighs 10 kilos.
When I get back to Billy I load this in the back of the car and in the back seat.

When I get home and drive into the garage I have to unload Billy before I park him so I put Billy on the turntable and the 18 packets into the alcove near the door. Then I park Billy and go down to the basement to get the trolley.

Then I use the trolley to take the wood, six packets at a time, into the foyer. I then have to take 4 of them off the trolley and carry them up 14 steps to the landing – load them back onto the trolley and take them to the elevator.

I go up four levels in the elevator and then take 4 of them off the trolley and carry them up four steps and load them back on the trolley. Then I take them into the apartment and unload them.

Why doesn’t he take them all up the stairs on the trolley? Because they are too heavy – I can only take two at a time up the stairs.

By the time I have done this I am well and truly knackered.

There may be a more efficient way to do this but I got a distinction for Quantitative Analysis and I can’t think of one.

(Yes I can – get someone else to do it – brilliant!)”

Well I got Dolly the Trolley which made things a bit easier last winter but it was still heavy going so this year I was much better organized and employed a young man to do all the heavy work. I went to Bauhaus to buy the wood and he carried it all – every last stick – into the apartment and stacked it.

He did not find this difficult at all and did in fact moved 600 kilos without raising a sweat. Youth!

He is the Nephew of our VP Cat Minding and Cleaning – Ms Moneypenny so is of sound Rumanian stock. They make them tough in those parts of the world.

I hasten to add that he does not do this for a living. He has in fact been accepted for Medical School in Vienna so is destined for great things.

He is ready to fetch and carry anytime I need more wood so I can throw a log on the fire without any worry about getting more in. Bliss.

I have told you before about the Austrian and German fetish for titles. Melissa and I went to the Hietzing cemetery to day and admired all the magnificent headstones with the titles of the deceased. Doctor, Engineer, Professor, Wombat Strangler etc.

One of the largest we saw was for a Zahnarzt – which is a dentist.  An honorable profession to be sure – and indeed one we could not do without – but does it matter when you are dead? 


  1. Now I must strangle a wombat.

    I miss warm fires during the Autumn and Winter. Too bloody hot all year where I live now. They don't even make homes with fireplaces in this part of the US.

  2. "Homeowner's Wife" - "Hausbesitzersgattin" - is my favorite title I found on an Austrian gravestone.

    Good for you to get a "Doktor in spe" to do the heavy lifting! :-)

  3. yes, get him to change those lights in the living room as well. badgers should not be on ladders.

  4. Jessica: You might have to make do with a Groundhog in your part of the world.

    Merisi: I bet she did not choose that herself.

    lenny: Yes - Badgers do not go up ladders in this house. They have more than enough trouble at ground level.