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?

There are actually loads of new skills I would love to learn. I dabbled with mosaic for the first time this week and although the result did not even remotely represent my intended subject, I am extremely proud of my first effort.

My tile that was intended to represent a scallop shell - the symbol of the camino de Santiago pilgrimage - you might need to use your imagination!

My tile that was intended to represent a scallop shell – the symbol of the camino de Santiago pilgrimage – you might need to use your imagination!

I have in fact taught myself a new skill over the last few years – that of terrace walling, which is a desirable talent when gardening on steeply sloping ground. The thousands of stones of all sizes have been collected from the garden and from the surrounding countryside.

I have in fact just finished rebuilding my terraces, not I hasten to add because they were shoddily built in the first place (they have withstood weeks of heavy rain, and the horse has clambered over them on a couple of occasions) but simply due to inexperience the first time around. They were too narrow and were not very useful. Although David is always ready to respond to a request for help when I need a new supply of stones from wherever I have spied a landslide on my travels by foot or on horseback, I have actually placed every stone and mixed every bucket of mud with my own fair hands (actually not quite so fair after all that rough work!)

But now they are rebuilt and are just awaiting some new plants, before they are covered in weed matting and gravel. I have to say, I am rather proud of my very hard work!





About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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16 Responses to If I Had a Hammer

  1. magwood says:

    I can’t be rash and make promises that I might not be able to keep! Xx


  2. Wow! That is a very impressive accomplishment. How long did it take? I’m sure you will enjoy the planting part.


  3. Rosie says:

    I thought your mosaic was a jelly fish before I read the comment! But now I know what it is it still looks like a jelly fish! Lol! I want to learn how to do stained glass windows I have been looking at a few courses but you have to buys loads of tools so it is pretty expensive to start with. Your walls look beautiful you should be very proud. I certainly know where I get my do it yourself attitude from. Love you xxx


    • magwood says:

      You are obviously lacking imagination! Some people have seen an angel, but personally I think it looks like a five legged spider. But at least it a neatly finished jelly fish, or angel, or spider.
      Perhaps you should ask for some stained glass equipment for your birthday. That should coincide with the start of a course. And thank you for your compliment – we are just maintaining the family tradition xxx


  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Everything under control – Who Needs a Hammer? | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  5. Greg Starr says:

    So you should be proud of your wall building. It all looks fantastic. Time for a Garden Club visit???


  6. annieh61 says:

    What an apposite mosaic. I’m looking forward to following your Camino blog whilst on my Camino as you’re following mine. Think I’m in a knot now.
    Bom Caminho.


  7. katherine Paterson says:

    Your terraces look fantastic Maggie, we´ve just had some built but not by my own fair hands I´m afraid. Lots of veggies growing on the terraces now, delicious!


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  9. Sean says:

    Hi Magwood,
    To Hell with the Camino. You come and do my garden (I have the hammer) and I will walk the Camino for you.
    Good stuff,


  10. Johanna Redelinghuys says:

    Hi Maggi, I am so impressed with your terraces. It must have been a back breaking job but with a very satisfying result . I live next to the sea and I am constantly struggling to keep my sandy terraces is place.Your flowering plants are very similar to those we cultivate here.
    Bom Camino – I must have missed out on your planning another Camino Portuguese this year.
    I am green with envy but I am looking forward to your lovely pictures. regards Johanna


  11. Anthony Pulle says:

    Hello magwood
    your terraces loog magnificient compared to my efforts in our uk home. I know how frustrating it is, but your skill and imagination won the odds.
    Send a hello to David from me.


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