Daily Prompt – If I had a Hammer – If you could learn a trade — say carpentry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, flooring, drywall — you name it — what skill(s) would you love to have in your back pocket?
If I had a hammer I would give it to the nearest competent person without delay. I have great respect for anyone who can undertake the practical skills that build so much of our infrastructure around us. I’m happy to pay others to do this work knowing that if I attempted it it would be a disaster. When I was younger I did occasionally attempt to perfect some of these skills but to no real benefit for anyone. I had a study constructed in my last house and set about putting up bookshelves to house all my work-related materials. The project took some months to complete but I was very proud of this achievement and when we finally left that house after 25 years I was loathe to leave my one attempt at practical work behind me and beyond me forever. This was not a blossoming of a new career it was the beginning, middle and end of my practical attempts.
I’ve spent this week in the Yorkshire Dales and so once again I have been able to admire what I understand is the dying art of dry stone walling. The dales is THE place to see these beautifully constructed walls but it is sad when I drive around and to see some of them unrepaired and fences erected. If I were younger and had a modicum of practical skill this would be one thing I would seek to learn. Not only are they beautiful structures, they also make use of local stone and just give this countryside its unique appeal. I do hope someone will begin to train a new generation of dry stone wallers and that they will continue to dominate this landscape.