An attractive garden fitment…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s quotation is from the 1976 novel Harry Bleachbaker by N F Simpson:
Throughout this period a silent all-night vigil was being kept on the steps of St Martin-in-the-Fields by representatives from almost all the various groups who were protesting against rescue (of Mr Whitbrace who was currently drowning in the Mediterranean), together with those other groups, standing shoulder to shoulder with them in token of their unbroken solidarity, who were protesting against the protest. Of these, some were opposed not to protest as such, but only to what they saw as the wrong sort of protest; others were protesting against the manner in which the protest was being conducted, or against the protesters’ reasons for staging a protest at all.

I do like a nice old junk shop book! This one is called The 1954 Gadgets Annual, and as you see from the picture of the title page below, it is a collection of the best articles from  Gadgets Magazine which was back then apparently quite popular.

1954 eh? So that’s what people got up to before media and telephones exploded into the world. Gadgets – people made things, tinkered with things and happily repaired things in their little garden sheds. Shall we flick through the yellowed pages of this slim volume and see what titles jump out at us dear reader?
Small Gaskets for Every Job; How to Improvise Insulated Staples; A Plastic Toast Rack; Decorative Glassware Made From Jam Jars; Make This Picture Frame from a Cotton Reel; Tricks With a Pocket Watch, etc. But today, let’s concentrate on an item on page 147:

‘Gosh Madge! What an absolutely marvellous idea!’
‘What’s that dear?… Oh, I see you have your nose in that silly magazine again.’
‘Madge, it’s not a silly magazine at all… Hm, you know, I could easily knock one of these up in an afternoon!’
‘Albert, drink your tea, it’ll be getting cold.’
‘It’ll be the talk of the street, it’s so novel, those Pilbeams at number sixteen will be green with envy!’
‘Have a ginger nut Albert! So, what is this marvellous idea?’
‘Look Madge, there’s a very nice drawing of it – it would provide more available growing space for the garden… you see?’
‘I do see that in the last line of their description they call it a ‘tox’…’
‘Oh Madge! That’s just a printer’s error! You do tend to nitpick you know! You have such a negative outlook on such things. Don’t you see how clever, and attractive, and space-saving this device could be?’
‘Do you mind if I nitpick some more dear Albert?’
‘I’m sure I have some suitable plywood in the shed, and as for the straps for strapping, I could use…  I wonder what they mean by “strapped”? What did you say dear?’
‘More tea dear?’
‘Oh, yes, alright, thank you, dear.’
‘Let me put a couple of practical questions to you Albert.’
‘Right ho, shoot!’
‘Would it be filled with soil?’
‘Of course.’
‘Soil is heavy, isn’t it? Especially when it’s wet!’
‘Well, I er… I’ve been thinking about new hinges for that gate for a while Madge, I must say it has become a little bit wobbly over the last few…’
‘When we open the gate, with its new flower box on it, to go in and out…’
‘Yes dear?’
‘Isn’t the flower-box going to hit the wall between our garden and next doors? In the drawing I see that there isn’t a wall next to their gate…’
‘Oh… Right… Well spotted Madge!… Goodness me… I er… Rather nice ginger biscuits these!…’
‘You may dunk if you wish Albert…’
‘Thank you Madge.’

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 archeology, books, conversation, creation, design, drama, drawing, history, humour, information, instruction, reading, serendipity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to An attractive garden fitment…

  1. Madge should just let Albert potter about to his hearts content I think and never mind commenting on fernickity details. Besides, I think it would work better if he put actual flower pots inside the box, rather than dump a lot of soil in. Then you could put little pretty shells or something in the spaces, and….and…..oh I wish I had a garden gate now! 🙂

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