"It's my toe, Gordon", she explained.
Well, at the beginning of last week she was getting along a lot better - save for the piece of corn that found it's way into the welly boot, until on Friday evening in a mad supermarket dash she stubbed the same ailing toe on the trolley.
"By George Gordon! That hurt!"
Who is George?
So we set about making her a walking stick. Neddie and Seagoon were sent off in search of a straight sapling or branch, about three-quarters of an inch in diameter. It had to be Holly, Ash or Thorn. But we warned them that Hedgers say it is unlucky to cut Holly, so it must be pulled out, rather than cut. We told them to show Dad the piece and he would help. Holly is a very solid wood and can make a dangerous weapon.
Ideally, we told them before they set out, if they could find a stick that has tendrils of wild honeysuckle twined round it, it will have an interesting spiral effect.
When the stick has been found it needs trimming to the length required - so that it is a comfortable fit. We asked Mum to stand against the Lamp Post in the yard and Truffle nipped around the back and made a note of the height. You can strip the bark, but it looks better left on. If you want a curved handle, choose a more pliable wood and bend and tie it firmly - then leave it for about 6 months. Trim it to a neat curve, then sandpaper to a smooth finish. Season your Walking Stick by leaving for about 2 - 3 months before waxing or varnishing it. It should be just about ready for Mum to take with her to the Big City next year! Gordon xxx