It’s hard to face. Difficult to accept. But it’s time for a new wheelbarrow.
It’s astonishing, when I think about how much work my wheelbarrow has done over the last seventeen years. With it I built that entire garden featured in ‘Michael McCoy’s Garden’, carting in mountains of compost and masses of gravel.
Without complaint, it transported great slabs of slate, being very roughly treated in the process.
It has done all the garden work around here ever since, along with carting untold quantities of firewood for the last decade. In fact, it was a bit of redgum – thrown from the woodheap, and poorly aimed – that took off one of its arms about six years back. It snapped like a toothpick. All that sitting around in the weather was clearly starting to take its toll. I chucked on this hilariously poorly crafted ‘splint’, and kept it in service far longer than I imagined possible.
I think it was a huge piece of slate, way too heavy to lift, that started the crack about five years ago that ended up as a large hole a few weeks back. Too often the barrow was on its side, the slate laid up against the tray, then the barrow forced upright again with slate – of tray-warping weight – attached.
As long as it has gone on in its ailing state, it’s time for an upgrade – time to retire it to firewood only. While moving several cubic metres of gravel while constructing a path in the last few days, I’ve had to cover the hole in the tray with a piece of cement sheet (hopeless), or an old layer’s-pellet bag (better). There comes a moment when it just doesn’t make sense to persist.
That moment has been a long time in the arrival. Seems that you can get very attached to your old gardening tools.