I don’t know how old she is, and I can’t even remember where I found her.She is badly scarred and not the most attractive shape. But she has been a faithful if uncared for companion for very many years, in this country and in England. I took her out recently, for the first time in maybe three years, and she again gave me unflinching support. She was dirty, of course, her home had been invaded by a brood of swallows in the summer and evidence of their presence was undeniable. After a quick shower she spruced up well, and started first time after she was plugged in. I love her low humming, which is like a sweet melody to me, and all this despite a sad lack of servicing. Slinging shovel loads of wet sand into her empty belly only changes slightly the tenor of her singing, and when, with the cement, the load flops over rhythmically I know her task is done. She is called Belle, after the maker, and seems to not mind being taken over by other chaps, indeed in Dorset she spent one whole summer away from my care, and still worked as well as ever on her return to me. At present she is helping heroically with the mortar for the little pond repairs, and I promise I will give her a good clean after her job is done, and may even try to bash out the old adherent detritus of the passing years.We chaps really do become attached to our faithful tools; we know all the scratches and foibles of each, and it becomes something of an intimate relationship. Any repairs are done with loving care, and the joy of rejuvenating an old motor is wonderful. Stay intact, old girl, we have lots more jobs to do together.
I am not so sure that the cat has the same affection. He is a typical feline, the boss, the only one who matters, and is always in the chair when I want to use it. We reckon he has had a dose of the worms recently because he has been demanding food and even jumping up onto the work surfaces to eat bread. He knows he is not allowed into the dustbin, but loves to creep surreptitiously and flip the lid to get inside. He thinks we do not know when he is there, but he does sometimes leave a clue!And yes, we have wormed him.