I just can’t resist copying this picture from Joel’s blog:

Roy Underhill hugging an urban tree.  I think I know just how he feels, I felt like he looks driving to the NEC recently on the motorways.

2 minutes of fame!


For a limited period only (about 7 days from now) you can see a brief shot of the bodger at work on some ladder rungs (not chair legs as the clip suggests!). Unfortunately, I don’t think the BBC allow viewing of their content unless you have a UK address. Here’s the link: Bodgery My couple of minutes is at 41 minutes 32 secs.

The Brummigum Bodgery

I’m just back from the National Exhibition Centre where I was exhibit A in Chris Myers’ show garden which was inspired by my workshop in Strid Wood.  I must say he made a fine job of putting his garden together and just about all the thousands of passing public loved it too – the judges agreed and awarded him a gold medal and best in show to boot.  The garden was full of details that were a feast for the eyes:

Even a rabbit hole.

The workshop area was smaller than my extensive ranch in Strid Wood, but workable, and provided that little extra interest for passersby, who often stopped to chat.

A lady said she’d bought a bodge at Damson Day earlier this year, “Oh yes?”  I asked. “Yes a basket.”  She replied.  “Hum .” I thought, “maybe there’s another meaning to bodging.”

The Kentish Bodge

Later that day another gentle lady chatted to me about her father who had owned 150 acres of chestnut woodland in Kent, now owned by the Woodland Trust.  He used to make chestnut paling fencing, and she was delighted to learn that there were still people making it, using those great old engines that run on wheels and twist the wire between the pales.  She thought she might still have one of these engines in her garage.  We chatted away and got onto bodges, which I discovered in Kent is what they call a trug, furthermore that chaps who used to make ’em were called bodgers – well I never!  She also told me her father used to makes fore-lighting pimps (see here).  He’d take some by train to Buckingham Palace and when they had been stacked he’d get breakfast on the House!

I just love these conversations, often sparked off just by people seeing me and my tools.

I had another interesting conversation with a chap whose grandfather was a shipwright.  I said I bet he used an adze, “Oh yes, we still have it.  He used to work on wooden masts, making them round with the adze.  Two of them would start at opposite ends and hope it worked out when they met in the middle.”

Well it’s a poor day when you don’t learn something!

Oh no, not another grand Yorkshire day out!

Last week we had yet another day off and set off into North Yorkshire heading for the coast. On the way we stopped at Hackfall wood which has been a pleasure wood since 1731 complete with follies, waterfall and fountain. More here. A very peaceful day on a beautiful sunny morning, set in a deep gorge:.

The fountain was not playing, only works on Sundays apparently, worth going back for.

We went next to Shandy Hall, Coxwold, which is where Laurence Stern lived and wrote some of Tristam Shandy (available in audio at Librivox. This is another hidden gem, the house only opens twice a week, not on the day we were there, but the gardens alone are worth the visit. Very quirky indeed, lots of nooks and corners and hidden delights and shady seats.

I fancy making a copy of this simple stool, it is four-legged actually, but one was missing. The benches were rather unusual too:

The planting was beautiful, this bunch reminded me of oriental warriors:

Having had a look at the church in the village, we noted a stylish gravestone, unusual in having decoration on the reverse side.

Finally we visited Bempton Cliffs on the East coast, very busy with thousands of nesting sea birds including gannets, fulmars, kittiwakes, guilemots, and puffins.