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Monday, 7 October 2013

I'll save that, it will come in handy someday.


Austerity? (Severe in self-discipline) Does Mr Cameron or Mr Obama or even Angela Merkel think this is their word? Don’t they realise the older generation were brought up on the meaning of this one word? To this very day if I can make it or mend it instead of delving into hard earned savings to buy it I will, whatever ‘it’ may be. Its built into the psyche of the majority of my age’s character. What my Mum and Dad did in their time was ‘make do and mend’ they had to and it must have rubbed off on me I suppose. The children of today (The above mentioned I consider are classed in this group) have no conception whatever of austerity, their ipads, laptops, mobile phones and all the gismo’s that have been thought up over the last couple of decades take priority over rent and rates and food for the kids they bring into this world.
Enough of that, but it really annoyed me when I heard the representative of our country at No 10 telling pensioners we I had to ‘pull our horns in’ and contribute even more than we already have over the years of our working lives.

 Somewhere in the past I believe I mentioned my friend who makes lace as a hobby and the cost of the equipment; Eventually, with reluctance, the cost made her ask me to turn for her a number of lace bobbins, which I agreed to do. Watching me make them one day she asked if she could ‘Have a go.’
From that moment on my budding apprentice was hooked, spending hours perfecting her bobbins on a small second hand lathe that clamped to her kitchen table, her family was fascinated and I know, secretly, proud that their mum could perfect such intricate work from a small piece of wood, or plastic or anything else she could lay her hands on that would turn.
However, it has been the cost of the tools and sometimes the unavailability of them for this kind of work that prevents her obvious talent and skill from creating what she envisages sometimes, which brought on the project in the workshop this last week-end. 
The very small (for want of a better word) chisels she required, that cannot be purchased, I made a handle with a threaded insert in brass to accept some masonry nails that I had in the workshop from many a year back, these nails have a ¼” whitworth thread on them; very hard metal that can be ground to whatever shape she requires.
Happy? She really went overboard when I presented her with what I had made for her, and to think the cost was zero, all the material out of the scrap box in the corner of the workshop, a pleasurable few hours for me creating something that was so much appreciated with a little box to keep it in.  
Thanks for stopping by,
Please call again.

1 comment:

  1. Nice little story, Allan, and reminds me of my time living in Rhodesia during the UDI economic sanctions era. Due to sanctions virtually nothing could be imported from outside the country and so people made things last. From cars to household appliances things were kept going and mechanics and tradesmen became very adept at manufacturing spares from scrap.

    Anyone travelling abroad invariably left with a long list of wants from family and friends, mainly small things like Gillette razor blades or a bar of Cadbury's chocolate, but what pleasure was derived when they returned with these treats or, beyond wildest dreams, a cylinder head gasket for an aging motor car. I think such an experience is good for the soul and I sometimes despair at our throw away society. Typically my aging mobile does nothing but enable me to make calls. My daughters, on the other hand, are always updating to the latest must have technology and have numerous discarded mobiles much more modern than my old faithful.

    Before someone asks, why don't I grab one of my daughters' throw away phones, the simple answer is that I would not understand it and I don't actually want to play World of Warcraft when shopping in Asda..