There’s No Tool Like An Old Tool!

Good Morning

I’m cheating with today’s blog because I haven’t actually had to engage the old brain to come up with something to write about. No I hear you say. No. Today’s inspiration came from one of my lovely followers – Mud’s wife, Elaine – Thelandroverownerswife.

Elaine mentioned in a comment to me that she has a passion for collecting gardening paraphernalia which brought a memory to my mind.

Two years ago, George, my elderly neighbour died. He was a lovely man and like my father bred to the ways of the countryside. George and his wife, Gwen, were both manic gardeners. Their garden was the talk of the neighbourhood and people actually came to see it. When Gwen passed away George continued doing as much as he could but life had cruel intentions and deemed fit to bend and cripple his spine making it impossible for him to continue with his garden. I took it on one year and he would toddle up his path and sit with me, chatting away, telling me all about black fly infestation on broad beans and how his ‘earth’ was so good because just after the war they had kept chickens.

George lived long enough to see the broad beans flourish – but not much longer – and it was one of the saddest days of my life. I remember standing in my garden looking over at George’s garden and it was almost as if it had stopped breathing. Nothing moved. I remember scrubbing away tears.

George’s family said if there was anything I wanted to take from the garden to do so. I took two garden forks and a spade. Wooden handles, blades and prongs sharpened and polished until they gleamed. That was the way with people like George. They looked after things. I don’t use George’s tools, they are far too precious for me to use them but I will keep them – always.

I also took three blackcurrant bushes and two gooseberry bushes. Last year we made wine with the blackcurrants and crumbles for the freezer with the gooseberries. This year I shall make blackcurrant jam. They are already pushing out vivid green leaves. I often wonder if he is ‘up there’ watching me? And I still sometimes scratch my head and think, ‘What would George do?’ And the weirdest thing is – the answer often comes to me.

I wrote a poem about George’s garden, or what remains of it. Things change.

Back To Nature …

The garden stands abandoned

Its heartbeat slowed by time

 Nettles invade a forgotten sandpit

A see-saw, broken, rotting in the brambles

 Small feet no longer patter, bare

Across cobbles, green with morbid moss

 Weeds, gargantuan, link their arms in defiance

As nature reclaims her own.

On a lighter note, if you remember, I said yesterday that Chea’s greatest fascination is now patting and swiping at bees? And I said it is only a matter of time before some irate bee pats back? Yes? Yesterday afternoon a wasp ventured into the kitchen and it was a wonderful source of interest to Chea. This was far more interesting than a sedate, pollen-collecting bee. Because this critter buzzed. Really buzzed. Especially when it kept hitting its head against the roof window. I thought no more about it, it wasn’t like Chea could get up to the roof.

An hour later I caught her licking her paw. On inspection the paw had swollen to three times its normal size. She didn’t seem unduly bothered. A right little warrior queen. I’m hoping she has filed this experience along with climbing conifers and won’t be rushing to repeat it. But who knows, hey?

Bit rushed today because I’m off to do something concerning one of my books. No, really, I am.



Take care my lovelies x




7 thoughts on “There’s No Tool Like An Old Tool!

  1. Poor Chea, I hope she’s careful. RE old tools, they are the best. I once went to an architectural salvage trade fair and bought a wonderful old bricklayer’s trowel, lovely sold wood, beautiful steel, far more robust than the bendy trowels you can buy. I know George;s tools are precious, but I should use them, they’ll be better quality than modern ones, and he’d probably like them to be used – unless of course they look as if they might break, in which case u can;t risk it.


  2. Hi Geoffrey I was hoping Chea might learn a lesson but I caught her today patting at a bee! I love salvage yards. I find a use for everything. When we had the kitchen extended I used the old bricks to build a wall and it looks pretty authentic constructed with 1920s bricks! x


  3. Jennie,

    I think that it is more a case of her ‘putting up with’ my garden paraphernalia than collecting her own 😉

    However she did manage to turn an engine hoist from an ugly eyesore into a lovely garden feature and the unimog engine block looked stunning with flowers growing out of the bores 🙂

    Of course she has, herself, amassed a rather nice collection of wooden tubs/barrels that are so large they make a Land Rover look small so I feel slightly less guilty for the temporary placement of various Land Rover panels all over the lawn…… 🙂



      • You have a good weekend too. 🙂

        Oh and give poor Richard some best wishes from me as I suspect he feels a little down trodden at the moment. I hope he gets the chance to sort Betsy out soon. I’m tempted to come over and help him sort her out although Mrs Mud would probably kill me as I have my own Land Rover that is not exactly fully operational.

        Mrs Mud is in the unusual and fortunate position of having the only fully functional vehicle in the household as Annie her 109″ is, by some miracle, actually more reliable than my 8 year old ‘modern’ japanese pickup truck!



      • Oh Lord Ian let’s not incur Mrs Mud’s wrath! Not sure I could cope with that so newly into our acquaintance. Funny how we all rush around helping others when we have chores of our own piling up. I hope Richard will get back to Betsy when his shoulder eases a bit – although, to be honest, it may require a small op to chip off the calcification. He’s currently on anti-inflammatory drugs. Take care both


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