Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A Shed for all Seasons — Nutcracking

My yard is square and sixteen square of 'em. A penny black. In need of franking.

Surrounded on three sides by high walls and with a northern aspect. Shady and cool in summer, dark and dank in winter. Because mould grows from the ground up from November through March and by Spring the off-white pebbledash turns mildew green at eye level. Because wet nets fester but never dry and tackle stored is subject to the light fingered. Because of this and that and one thing and another, to an angler it's neither use nor ornament.

My house is years old and 200 of 'em. Four stories high on thirty yards square. Small but tall and in need of repair.

Bedroom windows are rotten. Sawdust and linen do not good bedfellows make and my efforts to fix the one but avoid soiling the other are thwarted by the demands of domestic bliss. Because nothing dulls a man's cutting edge quite so quickly as a feather duster does. Because the accumulated stuff of his lifetime must be stashed and stored where womenfolk with their oil and grease banishing detergents fear to tread. Something needs to be done about this yard and its house, and while summer lasts, be done at a good march and long before next.

Ergo, shed.

Domestic conversation, moment well chosen.

"I'll build a shed." Confident. "And it'll be a good un' too..."

"Explain yourself my love..." Says she. Less so.

"For foul nets to dry in and maggots, my dear. Pupation through flyhood without wailing or crying, it's quite an idea!"

But also thinking...

Backyard retreat fettling rod, reel and gear, escapes the Ire of Demestos with tin of cold beer.

"And what about me? " From the side of her mouth.

... A tough nut this. Where does the almighty 'She' fit into my plan?

A pause for thought, because up till now I hadn't, and...

"Well, you'll see the back of me more often than the front of me..."

"Hmmm.... you have such a lot of front to see the back of, darling dear, that that might be a very good thing."

Crack appears in nutshell. 

"It'll be no Tom's folly, I will get it finished. By end of September (... or October at least!) an end to my hammering and 'our' problem diminished." 

"Good, I'll have windows, shall expect them delivered. The first installment on the debt of my favour, you might say." 

Shell splits open, out falls the kernel. Chew off half. Offer hers.

"You won't ever be sorry, I promise, my lover"

"But what shall you call it? It must have a name..."

"I was thinking 'Jeff's Foolery' or this or the other." 

"It's 'Hatt's Toolery,' and you're stuck with it. Go sharpen your plane..."


  1. Bloody well written, more wordsmith than ire.

    Of reading shit like this I'll never tire!

  2. Jeff,

    Shades of "Here's Johnny" in your facial expression ;-0