Monday, January 21, 2013

The Comfort Of Favourite Tools

This weekend while gardening I fell to thinking about the affection we develop for all the little devices we use every day, and the odd way in which we come to develop our favourites.  (Don’t you find gardening is a wonderful opportunity for contemplation, some extremely important concepts and ideas must have been developed during gardening sessions, I feel convinced of it.)  Now, Mr Shoestring is a great believer in having the right tool for a job.  (I suspect this is partly because he has a fondness for all things mechanical, electrical and gadget-y, hence the desire to buy water blasters, line trimmers, flame throwers which kill weeds, and other works of the devil which are not strictly necessary in a house the size of a dolls’ house with a garden resembling a pocket handkerchief, but I could be wrong; it has been known.) 

Getting back to the matter of favourite tools, this is my favourite trowel.  

It is starting to wear thin around the edges, the paint has come off and still I seek it out whenever I feel a gardening session coming on.  You can probably deduce that it was never a particularly expensive trowel and I suspect it may have been purchased from a $2 shop.  However, I will eschew all other trowels in favour of this one.  The weight, the length and shape of the blade all seem perfect to me.  Because Mr Shoestring is so keen on good design and the correct tool for the job he has often pointed out to me fiendishly expensive stainless steel trowels and suggested purchasing one.  (Though he would not stoop so low as to give me one as a Christmas or birthday present, he values his life too much.)  But I just know everything about my own Precious is perfect for the task at hand.  It will be a very sad day when we are finally parted, even now if it is mislaid in the garden (which happens several times every weekend) I feel slightly anxious and can’t rest until we are united.  Perhaps the handle should be painted a neon hue but I suspect even that wouldn’t stop the periodic separations.  This is just one of the prices we must pay for True Trowel Love. 

Talking to others you find the same story everywhere.  The Dancing Queen tells of the gravy spoon which has become something of an heirloom in her family.  It is worn away on one side from decades (probably almost a century now) of stirring gravy in the pan, and I suspect part of the charm of the venerable spoon is the fact that it brings to mind all the memorable family parties and meals from the past when the spoon was pressed into service.   

As for stitching tools, when quilting I will develop a fondness for a particular needle and even if it becomes bent I accommodate its odd ways and seek it out for every quilting session, until it is lost or broken.  Then what an unhappy time ensues as the search commences for a replacement – all too long, short, thick, thin or just plain wrong!  Then there are the favourite thimbles, quick-unpicks and especially scissors which we feel we must have on hand.  Where would we be without them all? 

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