Now and then we passed through winding valleys speckled with farms that looked romantic and pretty from a distance, but bleak and comfort less up close. Mostly they were smallholdings with lots of rusted tin everywhere-tin sheds, tin hen huts, tin fences-looking rickety and weather battered. We were entering one of those weird zones, always a sign of remoteness from the known world, where nothing is ever thrown away. Every farmyard was cluttered with piles of cast-off s, as if the owner thought that one day he might need 132 half-rotted fence-posts, a ton of broken bricks and the shell of a 1964 Ford Zodiac.
BILLl BRYSON, Notes From a Small Island, 1996.
Do you live in or know one of those weird zones; allotment shed roofs held down with lumps of concrete, an old Wellington boot for a rubber gate hinge, a car for a hen house, Tesco shopping trolley for drying the onions....?
For those of you don't don't know. I am the author of a daft book about BALING STRING and its many, many uses. The main character in the book is called: Archie Sparrow. He's a Lancashire smallholder and married to his long suffering wife Jenny and shares a pint or ten of Thwaites and 'Freeman's' with his best pal Mickey Disney.
Archie is completely daft and is the pubs un-official Sky News correspondent for his local pub: The Dog and Goldfish. We've all know an Archie or three don't we?
"Bring back the birch!"
"And the conker tree!"
The book is for sale on Amazon for a very reasonable price (less than seven pounds) and they will even gift wrap it for you for Christmas. But not with 'Baling String' - sadly!