Sunday, November 8, 2009

A tool using creature

Humans are tool-users by nature. And besides junk we collect, we male ones like to play with these toys (no, it's not an exclusively male passtime, and there are plenty of women with their own collections. Some, like my mum, value stone grinders and fret-saws and little hammers, and mysterious and arcane gardening implements, others tend toward masses of quilting stuff or cooking devices - although I'll give them a good run for their money there.) But my tools - mostly relating to gardening, woodworking, and the craft of surviving are in general not an impressive, shiny lot. Nor are they the smartest and best makes... Mostly they're old, solid, and very well (if somewhat ineptly) used. Some of them belonged to my great great - and they still work. There are darn few tools I've gone out and bought because I wanted a new toy, so almost everything has a history. Fencing pliers, pipe wrenches, key-hole saws. Many are unusal things that you can't easily find (a brass foot-pump), various files in odd sizes and shapes... that sort of thing. The sort of thing we are not allowed to take to Oz.

So today we had our friends the rabbit-janitors come over and load them up. Weldmesh, barbed wire, tree-nets. A legacy of bolts, nuts, nails, screws and rivets. Bergen was nearly squeaking with girlish glee (and you'd have to see him to even begin to grasp how funny this was.) Sigh. To sell - except to another nutter like us - and they have no money by definition... not much. To replace... a lot, and lot again, as they don't MAKE wrenches the way they did 50 years back. And grumble all the sort of things I will need to build with. Ah well. C'est la vie.

They brought us a rabbit and a roasted chicken - one of their own chooks - and we had home-made kir (with blackberry juice and champagne) and herb and tomato bread. I think that's my own invention, with tomato juice for the liquid, and a orange, lemon and vodka sorbet for dessert.

And so we move on. I'm going to go and look at Google Earth to remember why I am doing this. And maybe the South African news - (grin) I cannot tell how I love the wild excitement of the Examiner (Northern Tas Paper). One of these days I might long for more excitment and a tumultuous world, (I could try the Mercury (Hobart)... but for now I am with Nevil Shute's character from A FAR COUNTRY. It will be good to live in quiet, safe, well-organised country that has values that I can identify with and respect.


  1. Speaking as somebody who migrated to a far country, it's worth it!

  2. Absolutely worth it!

    You can find your fifty-year-old spanners and other interesting doodads by haunting garage sales. Granddad's old stuff, going for a song.

    For that matter, once people know you and you're a "local", when word goes out that you're looking for stuff, you'll start getting "Hey, I've got some stuff that belonged to my grandparents that we haven't got space for. We're going to toss it, but if you want to come over and take whatever you want, that's fine."

  3. Hard, but as you've already been told, worth it!! The worst is almost over.

  4. Moon, I know you are right, but it is still a wrench (and a hammer and crowbar...). :-)It's rather like a diet and fitness training, you know it will be good for you, make you happier and healthier, but the pain especially at first is not much fun. Still, we will persevere. We've huffed-and-puffed over a lot of hills and obstacles so far. Not going to stop now.

  5. Kate... in town, maybe. on an island with 300 families... no. But we'll make do. And it might be their grandad's spanner, but I am a sentimental cuss -talking about Great grandad's saw - with his initials on, from the Boer war. I can't bear to part with that, so it goes to my brother. I hope I'll eventually figure a legit to bring it over, possibly as an individual item, being declared and checked out - but not as part of a container, making everything difficult.

  6. Melissa, it feels better already to have had a good farewell grumble. ;-). I bet R had similar issues!