Friday, 20 March 2015

Baskets, Buckets and Trugs

First of all Bonjour et Ca Va? to Frugal in France. When I learned a minimal amount of French at school ( and failed O level) I think we had to say"Comment allez vous?" but somewhere over the last 40 years that changed to Ca Va ( I think- or I might be talking total rubbish!). Anyway, Welcome!
Also welcome to Undomestic-Diva, Both folks have clicked the Google button.

We have had some really cold weather here over the last few days. A strong North-Easterly straight off the sea, colder than most of the winter. The front flower border desperately needs weeding but it's just too cold to be out there and STILL nothing much is growing outside.

The post about baskets and basket making by Cornish Chickpea ( the pictures of one of the lovely baskets she made are here)  got me thinking about about how many baskets we have around the house and whether they are new or old.
This is the oldest by far
it belonged to my mum and I used it for taking ingredients to school Domestic Science ( as it was called back in the day), so it must be at least 50 years old - maybe more,
then we have a couple of log baskets, one in the kitchen and the other in the living room
and two of those baskets on the right which we keep  newspapers in for lighting the fires, but my favourite is this one
which Col got me many years ago from a local basket making man ( sadly long gone). I've only ever tried basket making once, at a local craft day, but I found it really hard on the hands and wrists.

I went from pondering baskets to thinking about buckets which reminded me of this piece I wrote way back in 2002 for the Suffolk Smallholders Newsletter. ( So many things have changed since then - no goats now of course and no more wine making, but we still have quite a few buckets!)

 If only the number of buckets you possess measured success as a smallholder, we would be champion smallholders!
I don't remember bringing any  when we moved here in 1992 but now, at a rough count ( no I'm not sad enough to actually go around counting buckets)  I think there are about 30 in various locations and performing varied tasks.
First there are the perfect buckets, those with proper handles and no cracks. These include two rubber un-destructibles, which will surely outlast us, probably because the darn things are so heavy that they are rarely used. Most of the proper buckets are used for their proper job, that is, carrying water to and fro to animals and birds.
There are buckets with good handles but cracked at the bottom, "useless" you might say but No! one has straw in  the bottom and is used everyday for collecting eggs, another collects weeds to carry them to the compost heap.
Then there are buckets without cracks but no handles - no problem, they become feed buckets for the goats or are stood on the field inside tyres to become drinking buckets.
Some are special buckets, like the bright red FIRE bucket on the campsite, and the compost bucket outside the back door or the fermentation bucket used for wine-making. Lurking in the shed, awaiting grandchildren, is a bright yellow sandcastle bucket leftover from when A was little .
Colin has buckets too! Stood in his workshop in various stages of yuck, they hold waste oil or a mixture of nus and bolts bought from a farm sale "just in case".
Like he says, whenever I suggest throwing out an old bucket " it might come in handy one day".

There is another item here which is used for carrying things, my lovely trug, handmade by Col several years ago.
I had found the measurements and instructions in a craft book and persuaded him to make a few to sell on our stand at a Suffolk Smallholders Annual Show in about 2007. He doesn't mind making things but these were much more complicated than his usual bodged gates etc and he got crosser and crosser with each one. I painted them, distressed and waxed all 6 and thought they looked really good. But when we came to work out the cost for selling we had to price them at £15 each and we didn't sell a single one. Col was NOT pleased. We gave some away as Christmas presents and I kept two here which I still have and I still love them even if no one else did!

I think the older I get the more I appreciate beautiful old hand made objects.

Thanks to everyone for comments
Back in a few days
Sue




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