April 24th, 2019


We got rid of a lot of my father's tools, but we still have any number of screwdrivers. What do you give a man who has everything but is known to be a bit handy? I know, how about a case of screwdrivers with jewel-bright plastic handles? And so they built up. When we moved in we added several sets of our own.

Not complaining.

I needed to mend the hay rake. It had a screw missing- one of the screws that holds the head to the handle- and the consequence was that it shook about and rattled when you used it.  No worries. Not only do we have all those screwdrivers to choose from but several boxes containing a  selection of screws of all shapes and sizes.

The hay rake is ancient. I remember it being around when I was a boy. It is also very beautiful- as  functional things always are.. Just wood and wire and screws and rust but as satisfying as most of the objects you'll see in a gallery.

The Repair Shop

A daytime TV show- filmed at the Weald and Downland Museum- in which a team of craftspeople restore beat up objects. The objects are interesting- of sentimental rather than financial value- and there's a pleasure in watching highly skilled artisans at work. This afternoon's objects were a leather belt carved by a German prisoner of war as a gift for the British soldier who befriended him, a bass guitar that once belonged to Tony Wilson of Hot Chocolate and a "What The Butler Saw" machine, more formally known as a mutoscope. Yesterday we had a mah-jong set in a broken box, a concertina that went through the Great War and a 1920s jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing. I love it that there's no element of competition (everyone's a winner) and money doesn't enter into the picture.