‘Give the cone a personality…’

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s wrinkled old black and white snapshot is the one of me and Cary Grant drinking mugs of tea on the set of North By Northwest – look, you can just see the back of Alfred H’s head there in the background. (N by N)

I’m in a practical frame of mind today – let’s get that copy of The 1954 Gadgets Annual out and have a thumb through the pages. The annual’s cover being rather drab-looking, I’ll just show you a picture of the title page.

DSCN3900Back in those days of post WWII austerity people repaired things that were broken instead of throwing them into landfills as we do now, they also developed practical skills to make for themselves useful items for the house, garden, and the little home workshop.
There are at least two or three items on each page of the book; here are a few picked at random: Make Small Part Holders From Labels, A Pressure Controlled Ink Dispenser, Simple Car Bodywork Repairs, Quick Removal of Rubber Bands When Used as Fasteners, Practical Hose Clamps For Gardeners, A Simple Way to Make Tongs, Ways to Make Rubber Headed Tacks. &c.

‘Yes dear?’
‘Are you cooking something? What’s that funny smell?’
‘No dear, not really, I…’
‘Albert! Look! On the kitchen table! A massive cockroach! Go get a shovel and hit it!’
‘No no Madge dear, it’s only…’
‘I can’t look, I’ll wait in the front room until you’ve dealt with the brute!’
‘Madge, it’s alright, it only my prototype…’
‘Your what Albert?’
‘It’s my little weather forecaster…’
‘It’s not quite finished yet, I’m going to paint its little head bright red, if I can find the tin of paint in the…’
‘Weather forecaster? Paint its head?… Just a minute, something’s burning, I can smell it!’
‘It’s only my pine cones drying off in the oven Madge, I’m sensitising them.’
‘You are sensitising your pine cones Albert?’
‘Yes, when they are all done, got their legs, and working properly we can give them as Christmas presents to all our friends and relations.’
‘Look, just switch that oven off, and for heaven’s sake open the window. Let me have a look at your… your prototype…’
‘See Madge, isn’t he interesting? These will save us lots of cash this Christmas, and the kids will love ’em…’
‘Well Albert, I must admit, he is rather sweet, you’re doing his head red then?’
‘Doesn’t have to be red, any colour will do…’
‘Hm, how about a pot of tea and hot buttered toast while we are waiting for his comrades in the oven to cool down?’
‘Oh yes dear, that sounds marvellous…’


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in books, colours, conversation, cool, creation, Film, history, humour, information, instruction, surrealism, weather and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to ‘Give the cone a personality…’

  1. Yes I thought cockroach too on first glance.
    Don’t forget seaweed as a weather forecaster. Always used to bring some back from Brid. When it got wet it was raining. Very reliable like that I found.
    We don’t throw out. We hoard. Only the other week we ‘acquired’ a nice black marble/granite (not sure which) chopping board that we didn’t need. But still. It looks nice on top of the black hob. Can’t tell the difference. Must write about it, so interesting …

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