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mark wood

by Mark Wood

Drinking Homebrew by The Fire

I know this doesn’t look good. Every time you glance over to this side of the page, me and the b’ys are standing around the fire drinking homebrew. For years, as a matter of fact. I don’t recall exactly how many years because we were drinking homebrew by the fire.

But this time it’s different. We’ve moved the fire 35 feet up the side of the yard to our next project.

Jimmy Two Fires : “We’ve been burning down boulders!”

Smokin’ Joe : “Well, it took four fires to split a five-ton rock along with the usual beverage consumption.”

JTF: “That was six dozen and November, gone.”

SJ: “Then it took another four fires to carve up the first two and a half ton piece into flagstone. We learned how to read the lines in the rock and chisel out chunks three feet square, four inches thick.”

JTF: “You may notice we use imperial measurements. That’s because it’s an old rock, long before the metric system. Besides, there’s an extra 200 lbs in a metric (or long) tonne and that’s just more work. So there went December and an excellent batch of Pale Ale! What a time we had. Plus we got about a ton of crushed rock as a byproduct.”

SJ: “We moved on to a smaller three-ton rock after that, by then we were good at it. The fire raged up the side of it and she hissed and spit off red-hot slivers deep into the snow. The whole piece cleaved like a loaf of bread and left a hollow socket in the ground.”

JTF: “To me, January was like a blur of Smokey Brown Ale and fire.”

So here we are, early February, surrounded by four and a half tons of beautiful fresh cut slabs of rock.

Drinking homebrew by the fire.

Mark is also a regular columnist with The Independent (.ca) newspaper.