Wicked Gert Lush

and other picked up pieces from England…

One could live comfortably for years on English pigeons and Special Brew.

There are Jackalopes in England. One of them ran before our van on the way to hewing the other day. The locals call them muntjacs. Details.

On a related note, the very awesome Graham has seen wallabies on two separate occasions prowling the Mapledurham Estate. I, for one, believe a man in a red jump suit:


Speaking of Graham, he was featured, along with the gang at Miles and Company, in a documentary about the execution of the Earl of Essex and the nuts and bolts of the scaffold’s construction. Apparently, Graham’s cameo at the end of the program showed real star potential: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0dSTtjO2E8

Speaking of executions, the axe featured in the Tower of London exhibit is single-beveled:


Do you orient the flat of the axe toward the spine or the head?


My vote is spine, so as your waste is pushed forward and aHEAD by the bevel.

Barrow Hill cider really DOES make your teeth itch. Thanks John and Barry.

Andy informed me that there’s a place in England’s Lake District called, “Hard Knot Pass”. As a hewer of timber, I’d like to visit just to say that I’ve scored a few times there.

If something’s manky, it’s not quite ship-shape.

“Let’s go swing axes, I can’t feel my hands”, said Justin.


Speaking of nails, Justin and I paid on the nails in Bristol. Francis Eaton, Mayflower’s famed carpenter, was also a Bristol man.

Maybe he once did the same.


Ant Sawyer of Buckingham hewed admirably alongside us everyday. He’s from near The Chesham Bois. That is also the likely origin of Phineas Pratt, an early Plymouth, MA joiner. Thus, Ant covers all the major woodworking trades: He’s a Sawyer who does carpentry from a known joiner’s birthplace.

A publican runs a pub. If this is their second pub, are they a re–publican? Michael asked. People have been beheaded for less, Mr. Burrey.

In a similar vein, Justin asked: If chips are called crisps over here, are the pieces of wood we’re hewing off of our logs wood crisps? There must be something in the water.

When icons are seen for the first time–how is this even real?


Stinging nettles, black adders, and instant coffee: The only dangerous things in Britain.

Red kites are common  in the skies above Mapledurham. There once was a time not so long ago that locals would pull their car over to get a rare glimpse of one. They were really working the newly mown field the other day after work.

When you come to our side of the pond, we promise to let you teach us about cricket–


Apologies to the patient waiter at the Indian Restaurant we ate at last week. When you asked us if we’d like our dishes dry or saucy, our laughter was inevitable. We’re just a bunch of doolally hewers.

I came in this am feeling like batman–left feeling like Robin.  –Chris

Safety first, Nigel. When we open our US pub, we are calling it Nigel’s.


Carhartts are very gucci in Europe.

Give up your car keys to a friend if you’re:

A. Wankered

B. Gazeboed,

C. Fucked & wankered,


D. Rat-faced.

Had a great visit with Nigel Howe, of the Carpenter’s Fellowship. He showed us around his current project in downtown Bristol, the rehab/restoration of  a trio of mid-17th century triple deckers. More on that later.


Speaking of Bristol, what a city. Gert lush, as they say. Bristol is mother to San Fransisco, Toronto and Seattle.

It’s a city where old and new walk together.


We watched England’s World Cup match against Italy deep inside a Bristol pub.


Justin, ever a friend to the underdog, befriended the lone man wearing an Italy Football jersey. Thankfully, there was no trouble. We had to hew the next day.

Before the game, an excellent band covered Mrs. Robinson. When the Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio? verse came up, all of us homesick Americans sang loudly.

Conversations while hewing sometimes involved Coventry and Dresden with a soundtrack of DJ Shadow. Surreal.

On this trip, we’ve met both  a true “Sir” and a Polish Countess. Hewing–what can’t it do?

We stowed away some old friends in our suitcases:


Crossing a Reading street was very much like being a live action character in the game of Frogger. You 80’s kids know what I’m talking about.

At the risk of generalizing, English folk are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Cheeky, yes. Funny? Eccentric? Hell yeah. But they made us feel at home.

I went to England and all I got was this sunburn–


Good thing Justin covered himself up in robes at the Muchelney Abbey in Somerset:


Dan, mind if I make a call on the shop phone?

Yes, just don’t call France.

No, only Shrewsbury.

When the Brits lumped our native Boston accents with New Yorkers the other day, we got all provincial and showed them this video (hide the kids–this is NSFW!!!) to illustrate the difference. This is a decent example of Boston-talk, mostly north shore.

The butcher is shut, no bangers and mash tonight-the butcher is shut-– Words no laboring man wants to hear. Wasn’t that a line from Lord of The Rings?

Sage advice from friends:


Mister Bean cars…






Met Humphrey, the parrot, at the Packhorse Pub. It was his 12th birthday.

Once upon a time, he’d been lost. A parrot was found, but upon closer examination it proved to be a different parrot. What are the odds? After 37 days, a parrot was seen in a local oak. Humphrey’s owner sang and whistled for 6 hours under that tree until, branch by branch, the bird came down and landed on his shoulder. It was Humphrey. The owner of the Humphrey look-a-like was also found. Happy endings.

Speaking of which, a newspaper clipping of Rupert Murdoch decorated the bottom of his cage the night I met Humphrey.

English pub life.


Nigel, say hello to Humphrey.

Thank you for everything, England. What a show-







The chunk chunk of our hewing makes perfect accompaniment to Bob Marley. This prompted several quotes from wise-ass Facebook friends:

           -If you are a big tree, I got a broad ax, sharp and ready to chop you down.

           –Hewing…hewing…hewing in da name of da Lord

          -Chips in my eyes burn, chips in my eyes burn. While I’m waiting, while I waiting for my turn.

          – AX-E-DUS…movement of Ja Broad Ax…

           -I especially like Marley’s “Greatest Hits of 1622” album.

           -One Log

Gert lush, people.


Wicked gert lush.



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5 thoughts on “Wicked Gert Lush

  1. sally says:

    So that yellow Reliant van you saw seems to be the actual one that Del-Boy Trotter drove in Only Fools and Horses….

    He’s a right dodgy geezer…

  2. you did well in England, didn’t know Michael could that funny–see you soon

  3. graemeu says:

    Haha gor-blimy I’ll have to come back to this one

  4. Linda Master says:

    hahaha great post 🙂

    ps a long time ago I heard a Robin Williams joke, he said he’d line the birdcage with the National Enquirer but that would be redundant………

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