The whare was looking way more inviting. Getty Images
A good supply of firewood is not always easy to come by. Getty Images
48 Hours columnist Jodi Bryant tackles a hot topic as winter sets in.
Apparently we're undergoing a major rodent infestation as rat numbers double and seek warmth in our homes.
But up until this week, they certainly weren't coming near my abode. The temperatures plunged and suddenly firewood was in hot demand.
I'd ordered mine the week before this cold snap with a delivery for Monday and timed it to arrive before the kids got home from school with their pocket money ready to help stack it.
But 3pm arrived and wood came there none. The kids were stoked. I wasn't. I'd just put the last log on the fire and it was the coldest day of the year.
"Oh, sorry," came the reply. "Our truck broke down."
Tomorrow would have to do, so I went to the workshop and rummaged around for anything resembling timber. However, the next day produced nothing but silence from the supplier. I needed to keep my whare and whanau warm so off I went down to the bush and, with a blunt saw, began sawing down dead trees.
That night, in between feeding sticks into the fire - they certainly weren't logs, there's only so much you can do with a blunt saw - I went back to the Facebook marketplace and began messaging multiple firewood suppliers.
The answers produced more broken-down vehicles or pick-ups only, and then I had a reply with a delivery for the next day and a promise of 10.30am. But, again, a no-show and still no wood!
I was seriously beginning to question the business ethic and integrity of some of our locals as I headed back down to the bush and dragged up more dead branches. Back in the workshop, I got my saw out for the third day. I was getting into a routine with this -along with an aching bicep and impressively calloused builder's hands.
On the upside, much like the vege garden, it was satisfying to be "living off the land" – not that the kids appreciate either.
But, yeah-nah, I was beginning to tire of this routine and the mess of a stick trail through the house. Plus, I was running out of dead trees and beginning to eye up the wooden furniture.
I mentioned my plight to a mate who said he had a reliable workmate who did firewood, so we teed it up for Saturday. This meant another two nights of being creative - the heavy oil heater was stored three flights of stairs below, plus I'm too tight to use it. So, the first night I shut the internal doors, left the oven door open after cooking and we had hot showers and went to bed early. The second night I made plans to go out.
And then Saturday came and – hallelujah – a trailer-load of firewood was delivered, along with restored faith in humankind. My whare was looking way more inviting – now I've just got to train my cat to stop the rodents moving in.