I have of late been making the closer acquaintance of my garden fork, also known as a digging fork, which is most certainly the use I have been making of it. I hatched a plot over winter to turn an overgrown section of lawnish area (presently hidden from the house by a derelict shed) into a vegetable garden.
The patch started out looking like this:
Observant gardeners among you will have noted that the section or plot in question appears to be mainly growing nasturtium. Appearances can be deceptive. Under what one might call the canopy of nasturtium lurks all manner of things, most notably mint.
When writing my answers to last week’s interview, the phrase “my trusty pot of tea” sprang unbidden to my lips – or rather fingertips. Possibly this was influenced by Richard IV’s “trusty fruit knife” which saw him safely through a single-handed confrontation with ten thousand Turks at the gates of Constantinople.
There is of course a long history of the naming of swords, particularly mythical or otherwise fictional ones – Excalibur, Durendal, Anduril, Rhindon – but mostly it’s just swords, axes, and hammers that get this acclaim, all weapons of assault and battery. Cooking pots, fountain pens, and other useful articles don’t generally rate a name, which is a bit depressing when you think how much more beneficial non-destructive things are.
Setting a much better example for us all is Lord Ickenham (a.k.a. Pongo Twistleton’s Uncle Fred), who sallies forth to the bathroom at Blandings Castle “armed with his great sponge Joyeuse”. Named, presumably, after Charlemagne’s sword Joyeuse, which would have been a much less pleasant bathtime companion.