One-Trick Pony

If you only have a very small talent, use it as much as possible

I only really have one real answer to a problem: WD40

I’m not brand-specific, but when a screw doesn’t budge I squirt it, if a lock or hinge doesn’t work I drench it, if I need to polish something I cover cloth or wire wool with something WD40-ish. I guess there’s just a lot of rust in my life

But birds are true artists of make do and mend. The swans have nested on the bonfire pile that I never quite got around to burning or moving from the river bank in the autumn. Three eggs so far, they have created home from our negligence. They have tidied and trimmed the weeds around it and they have bizarrely trashed our neighbours’ (Spanish) bluebells, and left them strewn on the bank

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Yesterday’s main project for me was the shed door, rotten from the bottom up, having withstood two floods in the time we’ve been here (seventeen years last Thursday – I hold this anniversary as dear as any other). Baz was busy adding fox-proofing around the garden to give the chickens a bigger run, so I helped Baz lay wire under the grass

Normally when we use electric tools I’m the lowly facilitator, finding things, suggesting things, holding things firm while Baz performs the nobler and more responsible task of cutting. I got help from him for trimming the new wood for the bottom of the door, as much out of habit as anything. I salvaged most of the original door (even the old hinges – thanks to WD40) and now it’s primed and ready for a coat of ‘Garden’ to match the window we rebuilt in the autumn, (I just looked at that post and saw our beloved – and sadly now departed – Percy)

Baz and I have worked together professionally for over twenty years now, as well as living together. We have differences of opinion – sometimes very loud differences – but winning arguments has never really been on the agenda and that’s obviously part of what makes us a successful team: we’re not scared of each other’s point of view

The swans also work as a team. The male chose this nesting spot and persuaded his partner that this was the place, and since that time they have worked together to create their abode, both taking time on the eggs. Just after I snapped this the male came at me and I had to leg it, but I don’t know which of them has bluebell issues

And the renewed shed door? I’ve added 10 % new wood and maybe 5% WD40