When the forecast was for rain, it was decided to quickly put in some more plants. Two star Jasmines and a couple of Hebes had been bought the day before. Retirees often have time on their hands and planting things and gardening helps time pass. Helvi suggested a few times I go and visit a men’s club and pass time talking to men. I am not sure if she is not a bit fed up with me hanging around. I remind her I am retired and free to pass time as I see fit. ‘Yes, but you often take naps,’ she tells me. But I told her straight out that I always thought napping was a very proper and well known past-time for elderly, especially men.’
Anyway, I did try and join a Men’s shed. It was last year. I walked into a local Men’s shed and noticed a lot of carpenter and building equipment. Lots of different electric tools, bench- saws, drills, planers, even a welder with eye goggles. A few men were busy making things. My idea of a men’s club was a bit more Singapore-Raffles like. A kind of establishment with easy chairs and a raconteur holding forth on the benefits of retirement in Venice or Thailand. Anyway, this Men’s shed wasn’t talk friendly, with all the machinery whirring around. I noticed a large nervous rabbit in a small birdcage. His master was making a hutch.
I would not really know what to make. I remembered a good friend of mine who spent a fortune on all sorts of tools. He proudly showed me a small wooden box with a hinged lid for putting in and allowing sheets of Kleenex tissues to protrude. I advised that the obvious next home made thing could be a wooden toilet roll holder? Perhaps one could varnish it or even make it look a bit antique? Some years ago making things look antique was popular. The art of making antique has since been surpassed by ripping into brand-new furniture. The side-board or dining table with chairs is now deliberately hoed into, roughed-up, and smeared and wiped white. For good measure sometimes copper nails are banged into the furniture as well. It is to get this much desired French-colonial-farm-country-side look. Some combine this with huge hanging clocks also given the same genuine faux French treatment.
I did not end up joining a men’s club. Just now I dug some holes for the plants. They will be growing against the paling fence. I gave them some extra chicken manure. Today was just a normal day. It is raining now. But that’s alright too.