You can learn a lot about someone just by looking through their shed, but if I caught you wandering about the piles of unfinished projects in my shed, I’d politely ask you to help me find my big torque wrench, then I’d use it to break one of your thieving arms!
Anyway, my old mate Bob had a beaut shed, filled with enough gear to build, restore or repair pretty much anything. There wasn’t too much he couldn’t turn his hand to, until a few years ago when a cruel illness swiftly ravaged his mechanically brilliant mind until he became too addled to handle a rubber spoon.
Eventually Bob was shipped off to a nursing home and his wife asked me what she should do with all his tools. I wandered out to his shed and was surprised to see it clear of projects and all the tools meticulously stored away. I had the uneasy feeling I was missing something very important.
Then I saw the extra thick coat of wax on his horse saddle and the penny dropped; this was Bobs’ farewell note. At some point he’d realised he was in serious trouble and instead of wailing at an unkind Fate, he’d quietly finished off his projects, then put his shed in order.
After wiping quite a lot of dust from my eyes, I advised Bob’s wife to call a local craft group who would put his tools to good use. When the bloke turned up, he looked about and muttered, “Knew he wouldn’t be back eh?” I got some more dust in my eyes at that point.
Last week Bob was called to the Great Workshop in the Sky, and this weekend while he’s sorting out some of Gods’ unfinished projects, I’ll sit in my shed, crack a rum or two in his memory and contemplate why I didn’t think to nick his big torque wrench.