Monday 6 May 2013

Hand Made Smallholding Azada And A Brilliant Film To Watch On The Television Tonight.

Here's a photograph of a new home made Azada hoe next to my professionally made and bought Azada.   I bought mine online and 'number one' son (I sound like Charlie Chan) made his version of on in about ten minutes flat.  Apart from the leccy and a welding road.  His hoe cost nothing.  Mine cost me about 30 Euros.   It's been worth every penny though.  If you have an allotment or a smallholding, you have got to get yourself an Azada.  They are brilliant!

I took it to "plot" (the vegetable gardens name) and gave it some serious field trials weeding.  Guess what folks?  It works perfect.  I wish there was a blacksmith apprentice course for him, because he's wasting his time staying on at school.  The sad fact is the poor kids know that there will be no jobs when they leave school when they are eighteen.  Not everybody is academic.  Some folk are entirely practical and have photographic memories of pieces of equipment that they can make at the drop of a hat.  I say bring back the Arts and Crafts movement and the local Blacksmith and other trades people.    The country dweller shouldn't have to go to the big towns and cities for employment.  Lets create rural jobs for everybody who lives there.

Right sermon over.  We will now sing hymn 52.  Talking of music.  There's a superb film on BBC 1 tonight at 12.30 am.  (I know).  If you staying up watching the snooker don't forget to record this film: "Once".  It's a musical about a Dublin busker who meets a wonderful Czech immigrant played by Glen Hansard and Marketa  Irglova.  She's a classical pianist in real life and the sound track won an Oscar.  The film is funny, sad, very moving and full of excellent songs.  I was that impressed that I bought the DVD.  Don't miss it folks!

Here's:  "Falling Slowly" for you.  Enjoy!


  1. Nice to have a practical sort in the family. He sounds a bit like my No 2 son, I called in at his place of work a few days ago and he showed me the new shaft he'd just made for a hydraulic lifting arm off a trawler, to replace worn-out one he'd stripped out. I didn't realise how good he was at this sort of thing.

    It must be hard to get on the apprenticeship ladder, there doesn't seem to be many opportunities now, it's sad so many of the traditional trades seem to be disappearing. As you say, the extended time at school doesn't always lead to any employment; there's young people stacking shelves in Asda who have been to university, obtained qualifications, and still have no employment in their field of study, so they're doing something rather than nothing. 10 out of 10 for effort, but what a waste of higher education.

    Looks like a useful implement to have, last one I saw being used was in Spain and was known as a Spanish hoe. Could it also be known as a mattock?

    Not much better weather here, been raining this morning, still cool and dull and breezy. Had a walk this morning, the lambs are coming on well, starting to acquire that nice plump look.
    Raggy cat putting a bit of weight back on after our few days away and catching its own protein, still has the same hedonistic liking for the fireside.

  2. I thought I remembered the film
    I reviewed it back in 2008

  3. Yes Cumbrian, it's like a grubber mattock. But the blade is a lot thinner. The Irish farmer used to use a similar tool called a grafan. They used these to make the 'lazy beds'. These where the forerunner to the 4 foot raised vegetable bed. Apparently they guaged the width by the distance in between the wheels of the dung cart (4 foot). I saw Azada's in use in Portugal. They are excellent.

    Your son sounds very talented. I wish we could go back to apprenticeships and City and Guilds instead of container shopping from China and India.

    Lots of midges biting tonight - a sure sign of rain.


  4. Yes, no 2 son, he never served any sort of recognised apprenticeship, started in a small engineering workshop owned by a friend of mine, at 17, mainly because he could drive and the 2 engineers he had couldn't, so he wanted somebody as a general white van man and gofor, he gradually started doing all sorts of jobs in the workshop, and got to be proficient in things like grinding, welding, turning, fabrication and general metalworking. when that company shut due to retirement, he worked for the company who bought the business, and I was told he was the only one there who could use all of the various machines they had. Then he was offered redundancy, and was pleased to take because the company was becoming too top-heavy with management, and started a new job for a similar company in the next building. When that company sold out to the company he was made redundant from, he looked for a new job, asked about and was offered 4 the same morning. He took one about 100 yards away on the same industrial estate, a hydraulic supply and maintenance company where he works now, a surprisingly diverse trade, making and fitting parts for construction machines, agricultural, and fishing boat hydraulics.
    Not bad for a lad with no formal trade tickets.

    Got out very nice this afternoon, bright sunshine and a bit warmer, the central heating's knocked itself off, set at 16 deg, first time this year.
    Raggy cat gone out early.

  5. Hi John, I can't find your film review (I must be doing something wrong?) but I am sure it will be like your other great reviews I have read. I really enjoyed Once. The actors seem to follow no script and make it so human. Music is an incredible medium for triggering the emotions. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Sounds like your number 2 son is very talented and can turn his hand to any task, Cumbrian.

    It's amazing how many machines use the hydraulic ram today. Diggers, log splitters, fishing boat cranes, shear grabs for silage...?

    You never see the navvy with the pneumatic drill any more. It's all mini diggers and JCB (rubber ducks) machines. Machinery must have made millions of men redundant (especially farm labourers) and made life so much easier. There aren't many farm labourers left today. If they have jobs they drive tractors. Even the third world (developing world) are importing all the little tractors from Britain and Ireland. They go mad for the 4 cylinder tractors like the Ford 5000.

    Raining heavy today. Hopefully it's full of free nitrogen too make the grass and vegetables grow.


  7. Yes, machines and computers are taking over the world, instead of 10 men, just a machine with only 1 operator and the other 9 looking for work. Sounds familiar?

    I think the third world countries want the little tractors because of their simplicity and rugged construction. The fishermen without boats of Flookborough use them, usually from the 50s and 60s, for this reason, also they aren't too heavy to get bogged down in sand. They do occasionally get stuck, and I was told it's not uncommon to abandon one on a rising tide, rescue it the tide after, drain the seawater out, fill it up with oil and diesel, and be back in use the next tide. Try that with the modern computer-controlled monsters.

    Fine this morning, but dull cool and breezy, grass is shooting up after yesterdays warm sunshine. So are the dandelions and ragwort.
    Raggy cat spending a lot of time outside, it's been a restless little sod, do cats have a breeding season?

  8. Hi Cumbrian, I read today that 300000 people emigrated from Ireland in the last 3 years. There are over 26 million unemployed people just in the EEC. China and India seem to be the main manufacturers these days.

    I think the third world countries import the small tractors because they use little diesel and they can make new parts themselves. It's a shame nobody remakes the little Fords and Massey Ferfusons any more. Everything is hi-tech with sunroofs (don't know what they need them for), sat nav and they start in the twenty thousands.

    Terrible weather here the last few days. Even my light cattle are poaching the fields. I think the Gulf Stream must have moved like the experts have said.

    Don't know if cats have a breeding season. Domino keeps looking through the window trying to get a warm near the range. A fire lit in May!



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